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Consumer & Business Advice
Media releases
30 May 2022

South Australians are being warned to be on the lookout for so-called bitumen bandits, with reports they're preying on people in the northern suburbs. 

Bitumen bandits are itinerant unlicensed tradies who go door-to-door, claiming to have leftover bitumen from a job, offering discounted rates to work on driveways and paths. 

However, the work is almost always sub-standard and the unlicensed tradies have moved onto their next victim before any action can be taken. 

They often use fake business names and licence numbers to seem legitimate and will often use high pressure tactics to get their victims to pay more than the agreed price. 

Minister for Consumer and Business Affairs, Andrea Michaels encourages anyone who has been approach by people soliciting door-to-door bitumen work to contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882. 

Quotes attributable to Andrea Michaels

While Consumer and Business Services and the Small Business Commissioner have received reports of these unscrupulous operators going door to door around Wingfield, it's a timely reminder for all South Australians to be on their guard. 

These people will often move quickly from region to region, targeting both businesses and households. 

Stay on your guard, be wary of anyone offering cheap bitumen work door-to-door and remember - if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Quotes attributable to Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio

There are a number of simple steps you can take to protect yourself - most importantly, do your homework and don't accept a quote without doing some research. 

Most of the time, operators like this thrive on high-pressure pitches and sales techniques, preying on peoples' desire for a bargain. 

But you should never accept a first quote without checking. See what other people are charging, and make sure you're comparing the price against those offered by licensed well-regarded tradies. 

If reputable dealers are charging more, there's a good chance you're dealing with someone unlicensed who is just out to make a quick buck.