2TM LOCAL NEWS

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  • Romy Gilbert

The travelling con artists 'bitumen bandits' are at it again

Tamworth residents are being urged to stay vigilant, after reports fraudsters nicknamed "bitumen bandits" paid a visit to the city.


Fair Trading NSW have been alerted of the travelling conmen in the Tamworth, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Forster areas in the month of May.


Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb said the scam is over a decade old. The "bandits" tend to offer cheap labour, usually involving bitumen, and then take off with consumer's cash before completing the job adequately, if at all.


“Members of these groups are nomadic and frequently travel across borders or long

distances to seek work so it’s very important consumers be on the lookout for them,” Ms

Webb said.

“Often these persons and groups are from an English or Irish heritage and will present

extremely professionally, even with work vehicles and websites.


“They often imply they have left over materials from a nearby job and offer a cheap price for

work carried out that day. They continually adapt their scam, offering Eftpos as they are

aware demanding a cash payment can arouse suspicion" Ms Webb said.


A statement from Fair Trading NSW said there are several ways consumers can protect themselves from travelling conmen.


"Contractors and labourers in NSW are required to hold a White Card, which you can request to see. These cards have also recently been digitised through the Service NSW app, so if the person does not have their physical copy you can request to see their digital copy. If they cannot supply either, that is a red flag.


"If the work amount exceeds $5000 the person will require a contractor’s licence".


Ms Webb said suspicious behaviour should be reported to local police or Fair Trading immediately.