Travelling con men

Territorians are being ripped off by 'bitumen bandits' and other dodgy con men offering cheap deals valid for 'today only'.

Jobs such as sealing bitumen driveways, painting and roof repairs and are common tasks they offer at a cheap rate, often putting the resident under pressure to say yes.

Travelling con men frequently disappear and leave the job unfinished or complete the work to a poor standard.

They may even be people in “white vans” that are offering to sell electrical equipment such as stereos from the back of a van. This equipment is substandard and may even be badged with a well-known brand. Don’t be tempted by the cheap price.

If you suspect travelling con men in your area, call the national hotline 1300 133 408.

If you have any problems using the hotline, please call NT Consumer Affairs on 1300 019 319 or 08 8999 1999 during normal office hours or call the Police on 131 444.

Check out the Facebook page for up to date information.

What to look for

Be suspicious of people who:

  • knock on your door unexpectedly
  • offer cheap deals using words like 'for today only'
  • have materials left over from a job, e.g. bitumen
  • ask for cash up front
  • offer to drive you to the bank to get money for payment
  • make you feel pressured to accept their offer.

Protect yourself and your community

If you suspect a travelling con man is knocking, don't open your door.

  • If you do speak to them, ask them to leave. If they refuse, they’re breaking the law.
  • Record as much information as you can, such as their name, business number and vehicle registration, and report them.
  • Don’t be tempted by unexpected cheap deals – they may be much more expensive in the long run.
  • Warn your friends, family and neighbours.

Do you need actual work done?

If you decide you need work done on your house, you should:

  • shop around for the quote that is right for you
  • only use established tradespeople who provide written quotes
  • ask for contact details of previous clients for references
  • do not sign any agreement until you are ready.

Report travelling con men

Call the national hotline:

  • 1300 133 408 (weekdays 8:30am to 4:00pm, Central Standard Time)

Tweet using the hashtag #stopconmen.

Last Updated:
04 Jun 2019

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