Police have launched an investigation after two Illawarra women claim they were ripped off by door-to-door tradesman.
The Mercury has been told homeowners from Kiama and Wollongong were approached by unsolicited tradesmen offering to perform work around their houses.
A Wollongong woman told police she paid $5,000 to a group of tradesmen to construct four posts and fours sheets of polycarbonate at her house.
"[A father and son team] promised a written quote but very quickly began work the same day they knocked on my door," she said.
"I never received a written quote and after putting up four posts they asked for money for labour and material costs.
"I had already gone to NSW Fair Trading and local police before they arrived the next day as it dawned on me that there were just four posts in place to show for the $5,000 I had already paid.
"In some ways I was luckier than [others] as they did show up and screwed on four flimsy sheets of polycarbonate to the posts."
The woman said there were five men who had Irish accents and one had the "gift of the gab".
She said she was enticed by a legitimate-looking brochure.
She warned buyers to be aware of unsolicited tradesmen.
Lake Illawarra Inspector Paul Allman said as part of their investigation police would try and determine the group's business credentials and whether they were licensed.
He personally spent the day in Kiama, with a team of officers, searching the streets trying to find a group of foreign men, believed to have English or Irish accents, acting as tradesmen and driving a white utility.
"We believe there some tradesmen taking advantage of elderly people by charging them exorbitant costs to do work around their homes," he said.
"We have doubts that they are registered with NSW Fair Trading or have licences and are charging people too much to perform work that is insubstantial.
"We want to check their bonafides."
Police contacted the Wollongong woman on Wednesday to get a statement about the incident.
Inspector Allman said police were looking for the tradesmen's car but had not found it yet.
Officers will be on the lookout in Kiama, Lake Illawarra and Wollongong in an attempt to locate the men.
Insp Allman urged residents to contact police immediately if they encountered any unsolicited tradesmen.
Anyone who has received an unsolicited trade approach or has concerns is urged to contact Lake Illawarra Police District on 4232 5599.