Authorities have warned residents to be aware of potential 'bitumen bandits' operating around the region
The Area News has received reports from residents about their concerns.
The alleged fraudsters go door to door or advertise on social media, offering asphalting or gravelling services at cheap rates. The workers offer a quote and if accepted, the target of the con finds that either the rate has increased and will cost more, or that the work is done to a notably poor quality.
Recently, the Beaudesert Times reported on the increasing prevalence of door-to-door scams during COVID-19, including bitumen banditry.
A NSW Fair Trading spokeswoman said that in recent years, the quality of the cover has improved.
"They now set up genuine companies, open a business bank account and obtain several 'burner' mobile phones under that name ... They will offer and provide bank account details for payments to be transferred to, which gives the consumer the false impression they are a genuine trader."
She suggested several ways that consumers could protect themselves from the bitumen scam and similar ones.
"Contractors and labourers in NSW are required to hold a White Card, which you can request to see. These cards have also recently been digitised through the Service NSW app ... Whether bitumen related or not, you should also always use the Service NSW Tradesperson Check tool online."
The spokeswoman urged anyone who has been a target of the fraud to get in contact with NSW Fair Trading and the police.
"The operation can appear convincing, so anyone who has been duped by a bitumen bandit should not feel embarrassed and immediately report their interaction to the police and NSW Fair Trading."
The Griffith Police Station confirmed that they had received reports of the con artists, but that they were denied.
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