Warning: Travelling Conmen – Orange/Bathurst

NSW Fair Trading is warning businesses in Orange and Bathurst and surrounding areas to be wary of anyone offering tree lopping/felling services.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said the agency had today received a report about a tall man described as Pacific Islander/Maori and using the name Fui, who provided a business card name of M & M Greenworks Tree Service to a resident in Orange.

Mr Stowe said the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs in South Australia issued a warning in November 2014 about the above business and individuals associated with the business, with the names Fui and Hay.

Last year residents in the Adelaide Hills were door-knocked by those men offering tree-lopping services and in one case the men sought to have an elderly woman accompany one of them to the bank to withdraw cash to pay for services before the work was commenced.

This is a clear breach of the Australian Consumer Law and a practice commonly associated with travelling conmen.

Mr Stowe said Fair Trading had been advised the man Fui was using the mobile number 0410 882 162 and this morning cold called an elderly resident at Orange.

He said he was working nearby and offered to trim/lop several gum trees for $1,800. The consumer asked for a price to include two Banksia and was verbally quoted a total price of $2,000 cash.

Before Fui returned to commence work, the consumer googled the business name and located the SA public warning. Further checks revealed the mobile number provided was linked to the company, which appears to trade out of Craigieburn in Victoria. Attempts by NSW Fair Trading to contact the number to speak to the traders have failed.

Mr Stowe said he held serious concerns the individual reported today was the same trader who was the subject of the SA warning.

“Anyone with any information about this man or the business should report it to the national Travelling Conmen hotline on 1300 133 408 or to local police,” he said.

“Do not deal with itinerant traders. They are generally unscrupulous, often target the frail and the elderly and can become quite intimidating and threatening when challenged.”

Visit the Stop Travelling Conmen Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/StopTravellingConMen and check the interactive map for reports of travelling conmen at www.stoptravellingconmen.org.