Travelling conmen reportedly on the Northern Rivers

CONMEN reported to be operating in the Northern Rivers are offering cheap household maintenance jobs prompting a warning from Fair Trading NSW.

Commissioner Rod Stowe said Fair Trading yesterday received a report from South Grafton residents who were approached at home by a man with an Irish accent offering work using bitumen left over from a highway job.

"This is the traditional spiel used by travelling conmen," he said.

"Consumers should ask to sight a licence, which is similar to a credit card with details of the traders name and licence category."

This is not the first time the 'bitumen bandits' have been reported in the region, with Fair Trading receiving reports in November 2014 and October 2013.

"The group target locals in the areas they travel through offering to do cheap work with leftover bitumen they say is from works on the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Hwy," Mr Stowe said.

Mr Stowe said in October 2013, Fair Trading received reports from residents of Lismore and Byron Bay.

He said the man was described as being about six feet tall, with a large build and dark curly hair.

The man, who was wearing navy King Gee work pants and a fluoro orange work shirt, was reportedly travelling in a silver Mitsubishi Challenger with large letters and numbers on the side.

He is reportedly handing out flyers with no ABN, Australian Company Number or contact name containing a gmail email address.

"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," Mr Stowe said.

"Do not deal with itinerant traders. They are generally unscrupulous, often target the frail and elderly and can become quite intimidating and threatening when challenged."

People offering or carrying out home building work worth more than $5000 on residential properties in NSW.

Any sightings of the travelling conmen can be reported to the national hotline on 1300 133 408.



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