I occasionally enjoy investigating businesspeople for sport and profit. Well maybe not profit unless one can claim a potential avoidance of being ripped off as 'profit'. You might enjoy what passed for this evening's entertainment. The need arose for significant work at an IP. I asked the PM to get a second quote, which they did. The second quote came in a bit less. It seemed well presented. They came recommended. I said yes we can probably go with this. Then, when informed that a significant deposit would be asked for, I decided to look a bit deeper. The first alarm bell was that the cheaper tradie claimed to be from a non-profit foundation (why? Nothing wrong with getting a fair profit for labour). The quote had no surname, no ABN and no building address. Their website, though very professional looking, was also scant. Searching on the 'company' name didn't provide much. Next, and very important, was to do a whois search on the website domain name. That netted a surname. The name wasn't very common. The White pages didn't help with a home address. But, aided by its rarity, a Google search provided some interesting results. Ripping yarns about people of that family name being chased by the authorities for shonky medical cures. Proceedings. Fines. Bankruptcy. Even a spell incarcerated for the father. It was indeed a family affair, including father and sons including one with the same name as the owner of the tradie website. A search on the defunct company's name indicated that the shonky medical cure company was based in the same city. By itself this wasn't enough to be more than an amber light. After all people could have the same name. Next stop was Facebook. Good news was that our tradie did not conceal his posts to non-friends. Included in his news feed were pictures of a renovation he'd been involved with and likes from a local real estate agency. Still not enough. But then one scrolled down the Facebook feed. The posts were getting more tinfoil hat. Including medical cures and wacky theories. In the very same field that they were chased by authorities several years back. It may not satisfy a court but the evidence was compelling enough for me. What is the probability of 1. matching first name and surname, 2. Bankruptcy on one hand and scant details on the other, and 3. similar interests in a specialised medical area that 99% of people wouldn't post about? To me that's high risk. The light was red. They're getting nothing from me. Agent advised to accept the other quote (who did include full details including an ABN etc). I've not given the specifics because it's not important. But it does illustrate how wonderful the internet is in investigating stuff and potentially avoiding dealing with shady tradies. Some basic checks like the above are highly recommended every time something looks a bit odd.