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19 February 2014

The State’s consumer watchdog has issued a warning to South Australians to beware travelling conmen that offer door-to-door services but who fail to deliver.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Paul White said Consumer and Business Services (CBS) recently received reports of a suspicious team operating in the State’s South - East.

“In this particular sighting, the unidentified conmen, one of whom had a slight Irish accent approached a business offering leftover bitumen and gravel from a recent job at Penola,” Mr White said.

“Our witness says the men were driving a white single cab Isuzu truck loaded with gravel.

“The nature of these unscrupulous individuals is to move across State and Territory borders, taking advantage of consumers and hoping to remain undetected by authorities.

“Travelling conmen are notorious for providing poor quality or incomplete jobs then disappearing having provided false contact information.

“This leaves the unsuspecting consumer with no ability to seek restitution for the dodgy work and subsequently they are left out of pocket to have the job completed or fixed.

“Jobs such as roof painting and back of truck deals on electrical goods are also common scams of travelling conmen.

“I would strongly urge people to avoid dealing with these rogue traders.

“Under Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to warranty, repair, refund or replacement in the event of a problem arising.

“There are also provisions in place relating to door-to-door trading. Consumers are entitled to a ten-day cooling off period in which the trader cannot provide any goods or services or accept any payment for transactions over $100.

“Residents are entitled to ask door knockers to leave and those who do not comply are breaking the law.  Travelling conmen work in direct breach of these laws.

“This serves as a timely reminder for consumers to use licensed and reputable tradespeople. Do your homework before engaging a tradesperson and check that they are licensed to do the job using the online CBS licensing register.”

South Australians who have any information about travelling conmen are encouraged to contact CBS on 131 882. More information is available on the national Stop Travelling Conmen Facebook page - www.facebook.com/StopTravellingConMen.