The Block

EXCLUSIVE: The Block 2020 winners Jimmy and Tam reveal the heartbreaking toll being scammed at auction has had on them

''It just rips your soul.''

By Alana Mazzoni
It was one of the most explosive scandals in The Block's history - and it all went down after the show had actually finished airing.
The headline-making saga started when Jimmy and Tam Wilkins' Brighton home sold for $4.256million at auction, winning them first prize and smashing its reserve of $3.29 million.
But the Queensland couple's happily ever after was short-lived.
Jimmy and Tam won The Block 2020. (Image: Nine)
Jimmy and Tam were infamously duped by Emese Fajk - an alleged "con woman" who placed the winning bid on their house but then failed to pay up.
After eight months of stress and uncertainty, the couple's renovated Palm Springs-inspired home was purchased by a legitimate buyer for $4million - a $256,000 discount on the original sale price.
Now, nearly two years on from the scandal that rocked The Block, Jimmy and Tam have exclusively opened up to Now To Love about how their lives have changed.
"Out of everything, I would say, we don't trust people as much, which is probably the worst thing that's come out of it. We really find it hard to trust people now but I believe in karma," Tam tell us.
Jimmy and Tam were duped by Emese Fajk - an alleged "con woman" who placed the winning bid on their house but then failed to pay up. (Image: Nine)
"It's hard when people don't know the full story. We took her into our family, she met our daughter. When you really trust someone and you think you know someone and for that to happen – it was gut-wrenching honestly."
When asked what she would say to Emese if given the opportunity, Tam responds: "I would ask: 'Why?' What was she getting out of it. That's all."
Looking back, Jimmy says the situation marred his and Tam's Block experience.
"We just came from this massive high from winning The Block to 30 days later being told that we'd been conned, and this girl is completely fake and lied to our faces time and time again," Jimmy says.
"It just rips your soul a little bit and its really hard to explain but mentally it was extremely draining."
Despite the unfortunate chain of events leaving Jimmy and Tam heartbroken and under immeasurable stress, the couple says their their record-breaking $966,000 prize money has changed their lives in ways they could never imagine.
"Prior to The Block we were renting in Brisbane without any sort of sight of owning our home within the next five to ten years," Jimmy explains.
"It's enabled us to actually buy our house outright and mortgage-free. And we've still got money in the bank as well to help us get our businesses off the ground and live life quite comfortably and not have those pressures.
Nowadays, Tam and Jimmy juggle parenthood with running their successful interior styling and design business. (Image: Instagram)
"We still have those pressures. We don't know life without pressure. But not having that financial pressure is massive."
Tam and Jimmy went on the hit renovation show in the hopes of setting up their six-year-old daughter Frankie for the future - and for that they have no regrets.
"We went on the show to cement a future for our daughter and to know that she was going to be financially stable as well. So now that we've given her that opportunity for her future, that was all that we really wanted from the show and we are so grateful for that," Tam says.
Nowadays, Tam and Jimmy, who is a plumber by trade, juggle parenthood with running their successful interior styling and design business.
"We went on the show to cement a future for our daughter." (Image: Instagram)
"Being a tradie is difficult. a lot of people think we're on the tools 24/7 but we've got to go home and do invoices so it takes a lot of time away from our personal lives," Jimmy says.
"So Optus has realised that tradies are very time-poor so they've found a way that they can help them get their time back."
In May, Optus Business is holding three Tradie Pit Stop events where the focus is on giving time back to tradies.
Utilising 20ft shipping containers and dedicated interactive zones, the Tradie Pit Stops will offer tradies free coffee, breakfast, car washes, and a chance to connect with their local communities and learn more about the ways technology can help them.
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  • undefined: Alana Mazzoni