Be wary of conmen with deals on leftover bitumen

CONMEN with Irish or English accents have returned to target Northern Rivers residents, offering "good deals on left-over bitumen".

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe is warning people to be wary following complaints last week from Lismore and Byron Bay.

Mr Stowe said the agency had been told one of the men is described as being in his 40s with a goatee beard.

"They are approaching consumers and seeking work, providing the usual story that they have been working nearby and have left-over bitumen and can offer a good deal," he said.

"We believe this is a group of conmen who were previously working in south-east Queensland.

"They are driving a Hino truck and a Great Wall utility with Queensland number plates."

Mr Stowe said travelling conmen continued to be a scourge. He encouraged anyone with information to call the national travelling conmen hotline on 1300 133 408.

"Don't deal with these people," Mr Stowe said.

"They are not legitimate tradespeople and any work they do will be substandard, if completed at all."

It is not the first time scams like this have been tried in the Northern Rivers.

There were similar reports of "bitumen bandits" operating on the Tweed in July, again with Irish or English accents.

And last November, a severe storm that hit Woodburn and Evans Head prompted warnings that travelling conmen could try to take advantage of victims.

Residents were urged to be cautious of trades people arriving unannounced and offering to repair damage.



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