Northern rivers residents are being urged to be on the lookout for dodgy conmen offering cheap bitumen and other trade-related work.
The travelling conmen approach residents, often elderly, offering work using materials left over from a highway job.
They also may offer to do such things as line marking, roof restoration, painting and other general household trades such as concreting.
They usually have no licence, and request payment in cash.
Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe said yesterday that the agency had received reports from residents in South Grafton who were approached at their homes by a male with an Irish accent.
The man was described as six foot tall, heavyset, with dark curly hair.
He was wearing navy King Gee work pants and a florescent orange work shirt., and was travelling in a Mitsubishi Challenger with large letters and numbers on the side.
He was handing out flyers with no ABN, ACN or contact name on the brochure and the email address is to the Gmail domain.
A caller to ABC radio today said he had also been approached by suspicious men claiming to be tradesman.
The caller described the men as English, and said they were traveling in what appeared to be a rental car.
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 $5,000 (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.