Warning On Travelling Conmen In Riverina

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is warning consumers and businesses in the Riverina region to avoid dealing with itinerants offering to do cheap bitumen work.

Mr Stowe said Fair Trading had today received a report from a consumer in Borambola, near Wagga Wagga, who was cold-called early this morning by a male who he described as having an Irish accent, overweight and in his 40’s, spruiking for bitumen laying work.

The consumer said the man was driving a silver dual cab work ute, possibly a Great Wall and a second, unidentified man remained in the vehicle.

The man told the consumer he was doing a big job on the Sturt Highway and had leftover bitumen and he said he could offer a good price for the work, if carried out today.

A flyer was produced but when the man rejected the offer, the flyer was withdrawn.

Mr Stowe said the leftover bitumen spiel/cheap deal was a common one for travelling conmen.

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,” he said.

“Do not deal with itinerant traders. They are unscrupulous, often target the frail and the elderly and can become quite intimidating and threatening when challenged. Their work 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 offering or carrying out home building work valued at more than $5,000 (labour and materials) on residential properties in NSW are required to be licensed.

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

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

For updated information on reported TCM activity, visit the Stop Travelling Conmen Facebook page or go to the Stop Travelling Conmen website.