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Warning: Travelling conmen about 

19 July 2015

NSW Fair Trading is warning businesses in Coffs Harbour and elsewhere around the state to be wary of anyone offering cheap bitumen work.

Coffs/Clarence Police have also been warning the public to remain vigilant about cold call offers of home building work.

This week police received reports of an apparent bogus workman going around the Middle Boambee Road, Boambee area advising that he had been engaged to do bitumen on driveways in the area.

This male (uninvited) in a work vehicle attended an address in Middle Boambee Road on Tuesday morning and asked the occupant about bitumen work on the driveway. He was also inquiring about the presence of dogs on the premises.

The man was driving an old Toyota 4wd white in colour with a fluorescent sticker on the side. He was in his late 50s to 60s, 175cm tall and well-tanned with white hair and a white stubble beard. He was wearing an orange fluoro shirt.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said it appeared a group of travelling conmen known to Fair Trading have based themselves in or around Coffs Harbour. 

“From there the group members could easily be working neighbourhoods from Port Macquarie to Ballina,” he said.

“Travelling conmen purchase their paint, bitumen and other materials from local suppliers, so I am urging local businesses not to supply to itinerant traders. Help us protect legitimate traders and consumers by reporting any sightings to the 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 generally unscrupulous, often target the frail and the elderly and can become quite intimidating and threatening when challenged.”
 
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.

Licences can also be checked online at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20.

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: 0438 108 797

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