The Office of Fair Trade is urging consumers to get in contact if they have seen the scammers.
The Office of Fair Trade is urging consumers to get in contact if they have seen the scammers. Brett Wortman

SCAM: Fair trade warns of bitumen bandits

THE Office of Fair Trading is warning consumers of reports of itinerant traders approaching residents in the South Burnett area offering driveway repairs and bitumen services.

Scammers are known to operate as bitumen layers, leaving consumers out of pocket.

Fair Trading Queensland released a tweet which stated they received reports of the itinerant traders also approaching residents in the Dalby and Fraser Coast regions.

The scammers vary their approaches and mix and match their sales pitches depending on what they think will work with the particular consumers they are targeting.

Sales pitches include claiming they have bitumen left over from another job, so they can offer the job at a 'cheap price today only.'

Watered down bitumen is sometimes laid on ungraded or poorly graded ground and consumers find themselves out of pocket twice as they later have to pay another trader to have it removed and replaced.

On other occasions the traders were reported to have initially quoted a low cost, then a much higher payment was demanded during the work, with consumers often complying since they could not get their car out of the garage if the work was not finished.

Sometimes the scammers simply take large deposits, perform no work, and never return.

Consumers have no way to get a refund as these types of traders usually vanish.

If you think you have seen these traders, contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 QGov (13 74 68) so their movements can be tracked and consumers can be warned.

South Burnett

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