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Travelling conmen alert for Orange and Dubbo 

7 April 2015

NSW Fair Trading is warning Orange and Dubbo residents to be on the lookout for travelling conmen after dodgy traders were spotted in the area selling bitumen services.
                                           
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said Fair Trading had learned of the recent bout of traders from an Orange local who had been door knocked and offered cheap bitumen.

“The consumer had some bitumen work done the same day and a $13,000 payment was demanded by the trader,” Mr Stowe said.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, any unsolicited agreement has a 10 day cooling off period, during which the consumer is not required to pay anything.

“Legitimate traders should inform the consumer of this fact and know that they cannot ask for payment within 10 business days of delivering any product or service over $100.

“Travelling conmen often move door-to-door offering cut-price services and products. They operate unlicensed and are often not qualified for the work or services they purportedly can do.

“These traders can use elaborate stories to lure in and rip off consumers. Dodgy bitumen traders have reportedly told customers:

  • their vehicle has broken down and they need to get rid of stock
  • they have recently completed a job and they are selling the leftover product
  • they are in the area as they have just completed a big job at a neighbour’s property.  

“Customers are often left with shoddily completed or incomplete work which can cost more to repair.”

Bitumen work is the most common trade offered by travelling conmen and in 2014 NSW Fair Trading received more than 60 reports about traders selling dodgy bitumen services.

Fair Trading recommends people do not deal with itinerant conmen. They are unscrupulous, often targeting the frail and the elderly and can become quite intimidating and threatening when challenged.

For work requiring a contractor’s licence, consumers can check licence details online at the Fair Trading website, www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20.

The Australian Consumer Law prohibits contractors from intimidating or threatening consumers for payment. If consumers feel threatened they should call NSW Police immediately.

Watch our video Driveway Scam – don’t get fooled by dodgy tradespeople.

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

Media contact: 02 9962 9488 (24/7)

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