They are obviously a scammer, and should be reported immediately. I did a little search for Branicas Landscaping and it is truly suspicious. Their ABN (Which truthfully anyone can obtain) was created back in 2010, yet they have a lack of activity and despite seven years passing, no reviews. I could only find one, which appeared to be fake. This could be incorrect, but your first step should be contacting Branicas Landscaping through public information on the internet to ensure that you were scammed by Branicas Landscaping and not somebody impersonating them. The companies ABN is 92 271 043 491 and it is registered under the name Hexter, Michael J.
As for getting your money back. It is truly a difficult situation as the money transferred was a personal transaction. Do not place your hopes in hipages as they will only claim the transaction was not sanctioned by them nor complies with their policies so they are unrelated to it, which is not incorrect. If the "tradesman" gave you an invoice for the deposit, you can use that to have the funds transfer reversed for failing to provide the services paid for. I suspect that is not the case so what you should do is speak directly with your bank as soon as possible to see if they can do anything about the situation. The scammer has to have a bank account, and that is something that can't run away. The only problem will be if the funds have already been withdrawn, in which your next step would be the police.
I saw your review and that total amount was $5600. A landscaper is listed under a Domestic Builder (Limited). In accordance with the VBA, to accept a job over $5000 they need be registered with the VBA and hold the appropriate competencies/qualifications. Should the authorities be able to help you track the scammer down, and he still refuses to repay you the money, you can then take him to a court tribunal to seek reparations. However, even should they be ordered to repay the money, there is no method to force them to do so.
I hope this can help you. These scammers know how to run away, making them difficult to catch. In order to do so, a lot of persistence is required.
T Lotus replied on Feb 16, 2017