- Publish Date
- Monday, 21 February 2022, 11:08AM
Netflix's Tinder Swindler has shed a spotlight on the dangers of scam artists - and it reminded our very own Toni Street of her own experience.
Streety revealed to Sam Wallace and Jason Reeves she was once swindled out of $15,000 and she is probably never getting the cash back.
"It's not very nice being taken for a ride and it has happened to me," she said.
Having recently moved house, she and her husband Matt France wanted to repaint and went with a painting company recommended by another mum at their children's school.
"And we thought, you can't go wrong with a recommendation," she said.
"Painting started just as lockdown began so it was delayed - they got a few rooms inside done and they were meant to come back to do the outside."
The painter doing the work was subcontracted to the person who took the bookings, she said.
But then things went quiet.
"We came out of lockdown and they were nowhere to be seen. Communication dried up, we were trying to call this guy off pseudo phones so he wouldn't know it was us," she joked.
"Then we got an email saying, 'You've got me, I've gone bust, I've moved to Welly and I'm going to try to pay you guys back'."
The mum-of-three said they had paid $15,000 in advance, "because anyone doing painting will know scaffolding is very hard to come by and we had to put a deposit on the scaffolding to secure it".
"Foolishly perhaps on our part, but we thought in these challenging times we needed to do that."
The painter himself had not been paid for the painting he had already done either.
"He hadn't just bailed on us, he hadn't paid the hardworking painter. We paid our painter directly in the end but we were glad the painter who did the job got paid in the end to finish the job. We're both still waiting for the money that we're owed."
A friend of Streety's who is also a lawyer found that it wasn't the first time the scammer had done this to someone either.