Bitumen bandits cost McLeans Ridges man thousands
CONMEN fleeced $5000 out of a Macleans Ridges to bitumen his driveway, prompting the man to warn Northern Rivers residents so they don't get stung.
The man said he was packing up his caravan last Friday morning to go away for the long weekend, when he was approached by a man in his late 20s with an Irish accent offering to bitumen his driveway for $20 per square metre.
Monday's issue of The Northern Star featured a story with Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe alerting residents of the conmen.
The preoccupied resident quickly discussed getting the driveway sealed with his wife, before telling the man he could do the job.
"The bloke just drove in and said they had leftover bitumen from a job they head been doing nearby and they could lay some on the driveway for a cheap rate," he said.
"We had talked about sealing the driveway ... that's probably why it didn't throw up a red flag to us.
"I should have realised it wasn't right to have someone just drive in and do that sort of thing."
The man said the man was joined by two other men, one driving a white tip truck towing a grey trailer, the other driving a green SUV.
When he returned from the weekend away, Mr Rees realised the 350sq m job was shoddy. "They hadn't done any preparation underneath and that's why it's failed."
The men sprayed bitumen down and laid gravel over the top, he said.
"You go to turn your steering wheel on it and it just pulls the bitumen up from the dirt underneath."
The man paid $5000 by internet transfer and $2000 by cheque, which has been cancelled with his bank.
The men told Mr Rees they would be heading north after completing his driveway.
Anyone who encounters people they believe may be scammers should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.
Person 1: Man with an Irish accent, average build, wearing a fluoro shirt, aged in his mid to late 20s, with short neat black hair. Was driving a white SUV.
Person 2: Man with a muscular build, in his 40s, goatee, and short brown hair. Was driving a green SUV.
Person 3: Man of skinny build, in his 40s, goatee/ beard, Australian accent and brown hair. Was driving a white tipper truck towing a grey trailer.