Warning On Travelling Conmen In New England

Acting NSW Fair Trading Commissioner John Tansey is warning consumers and businesses in the New England region to avoid dealing with itinerants offering to do cheap bitumen work.

Mr Tansey said Fair Trading had today received a tip off from the Armidale area about an individual touting for cheap bitumen work.

“The offer was for cheap bitumen, one third off for one week only,” he said. “Our informant said the individual sounded dodgy, with a possible English accent.

“Preliminary searches by Fair Trading have failed to find any evidence of an Australian Business Number or licence for the individual, so we are warning the public while we look further into this report.”

Mr Tansey said bitumen bandits always offer a cheap deal.

“Cheap in this case will mean a bad job, not a good deal,” he said.

“Work by itinerants is usually of poor quality and consumers are left with little opportunity for redress because travelling conmen are highly mobile and have usually left the area by the time problems are detected.”

People should report any sightings to the national Travelling Conmen hotline on 1300 133 408 or to local police.

Travelling conmen do not restrict their business to bitumen driveway sealing, they may also offer line marking, roof restoration and painting or other general household trades such as concreting.

Do not deal with itinerant traders. They are unscrupulous, often targeting the frail and the elderly and can become quite intimidating and threatening when challenged. Use local, reliable tradespeople who have a stake in maintaining their reputation.

People offering or carrying out home building work valued at more than $5,000 (labour and materials) on residential properties in NSW must be licensed.

“Consumers should ask to see a licence, which is similar to a credit card with details of the trader’s name and licence category,” Mr Tansey said.

To spot the classic signs of a travelling conman, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkTcTFmfX3Y