Warning issued on travelling conmen

NSW Fair Trading is warning businesses in northern NSW to be wary of anyone offering cheap bitumen work.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said the agency had this week received a report from residents in South Grafton who were approached at their homes by a male with an Irish accent offering work using bitumen left over from a highway job.

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

The offer was made by a man approximately 6ft, heavyset and with dark curly hair.

He was wearing navy king gee work pants and a florescent orange work shirt.

He is reported to be traveling in a silver Mitsubishi Challenger with large letters and numbers on the side.

He is handing out flyers with no ABN, ACN or contact name on the brochure and the email address is to the Gmail domain.

Mr Stowe encouraged the public to report any sightings to the national 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," he said.

"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 $5000 (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.

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