NSW Fair Trading has issued a warning about travelling con men who are threatening people and businesses who refuse to pay fees higher than agreed upon.
Irish and English con men are extorting cash from NSW residents by threatening people and businesses who refuse to pay fees more than 10 times higher than agreed upon.
After giving a Moree businessman a verbal quote of $200 for some bitumen and gravel work last week, a group of con men then demanded he pay $3000 in cash or cash cheque.
“When the businessman refused their payment request, the men reportedly became hostile and verbally aggressive, threatening to burn the business down and to assault the businessman,” Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe said.
Two men with English accents have also been “doing shoddy bitumen work” in Gunnedah.
Their customer became suspicious when the men wouldn’t prove they were licensed tradies.
“The two men gave the usual spiel of bitumen left over from a big job they said they had just done in Tamworth,” Mr Stowe said.
In Griffith men in their mid-30s with Irish accents and medium builds have been offering bitumen work.
An English or Irish man who wears an Akubra hat and boots has been offering to pressure-wash driveways for $480 or a cash payment of $380.
But the company name the man gave wasn’t registered and there was no ASIC reference, Mr Stowe said.
The con men are travelling in hire trucks with Queensland plates.
“If anyone door-knocks to do work valued at more than $100, the consumer must be given a 10 business day cooling-off period before work may start or payment can be made,” Mr Stowe said.
Travelling con men and groups should be reported to NSW Fair Trading on 1300 133 408.