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Scamming Bitumen Bandits hit SA regions

About to get your driveway bitumised for a price too good to be true? Take a minute to read this warning!

SCAM ALERT – rogue bitumen contractors conning regional South Aussies

Wakefield Regional Council has released a scam warning, after information from a local civil engineering firm that rogue bitumen contractors have recently hit South Australia.
The travelling conmen have have previously targeted Western Australia, with 31 reports from consumers who’ve collectively shelled out $264,000 for substandard work.
Council’s warning says “current reports are alerting us that they are soliciting the general public and small businesses in the Mid North/Yorke Peninsula Region, and most recently in the outer Whyalla area.
“Their mode of operation is to door knock, say they are working in the area for XYZ and they have some left over bitumen and would be happy to seal driveways etc at a cheap price,” the warning read.
With bogus ABN numbers, which are hard to trace, and business names which are similar to some reputable companies, it is reported that the con artists, known as ‘bitumen bandits’, use sub-standard materials, demand a higher fee than originally quoted and threaten to destroy the work completed if their invoices are not paid.

Western Australia Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Trish Blake describes the operation as an international organised scam with directors often based in the U.K. or Ireland.“They lie to potential customers, saying they have left-over bitumen from a job nearby so can offer a cheap price, but the finished job is left uneven, thin and soft,” she said.

“In one case in Derby, the bitumen washed away with rain the next day but the customer was still invoiced $33,000 and demands were made for immediate payment.”

For a list of potential business names to avoid click here.

 

 

 

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