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Media releases
17 February 2015

Residents on the Eyre Peninsula and the Adelaide Hills should be on guard about travelling conmen posing as bitumen layers.

Minister for Business Services and Consumers Gail Gago said there have been reports of a small group of men with Irish accents, offering to do bitumen work for cash.

The men in Port Lincoln are in a blue dual-cab ute with a trailer with a yellow roller and a truck. They claim to work for Victorian business THC Pty Ltd or Thomas Hall Constructions - neither of which are registered business names or companies.

The men in Woodside are in a White Triton dual cab ute with a canopy.

“The growth in traveling conmen scams involving bitumen, roof painting, tree lopping and other building services has resulted in an increasing number of South Australian consumers experiencing poor quality and costly work,” Ms Gago said.

“A tactic used in the past is claiming they have leftover bitumen from a previous job and offer to provide services at a discounted price.

“The work is often substandard, with bitumen laid too thin, and breaking up as soon as any vehicles are driven on it.

“Once payment is handed over, the conmen will disappear, making it extremely difficult to seek redress for shoddy or incomplete work, so any repairs will cost you extra.

“Consumers are entitled to ask door knockers to leave. In South Australia, we also have a compulsory 10-day cooling off period in which you can change your mind if you don’t want to proceed.

“I urge residents to be vigilant and take precautions if approached by tradespeople. Please ensure you ask them to produce their SA builder’s licence card or alternatively you can check if they are licenced by using the online CBS licensing register.”

“If you have any information about these travelling conmen, please call CBS on 131 882. Your information will help prevent other people from being stung.”

Individual traders who breach the legislation under the Australian Consumer Law can also face penalties of up to $220,000 and up to $1,100,000 for companies.