Thursday, 22nd December 2016
About travelling con men
Travelling con men are dodgy tradesmen who knock on doors of homes and small businesses, offering to do maintenance work.
They appear more frequently during warmer weather and after natural disasters, such as floods, fires and storms, when vulnerable people are cleaning up or repairing their properties.
Travelling con men offer to do jobs such as driveway resurfacing, painting, roof repairs and carpet cleaning at a cheap rate. Often, they pressure people, offering 'today only' specials.
Why you should avoid them
Travelling con men ask for cash before starting work and frequently disappear as soon as you pay them.
If they do any work, it is often unfinished or of a poor standard.
They move quickly and usually only give a first name and mobile number - so contacting them afterwards is difficult.
What to look out for
Be suspicious of people who:
knock on your door unexpectedly, offering to:
paint the house
work on your garden or cut trees
fix your roof
offer cheap deals using words like 'for today only'
ask for cash up front
offer to drive you to the bank to get money to pay for the job
pressure you to accept their offer
say they can do the job now as another nearby has just cancelled.
Tips to protect yourself
If you suspect a travelling con man is knocking, do not answer.
If you do speak to them, ask them to leave. If they refuse to leave, they are breaking the law.
If you want work done on your house: shop around for the quote that is right for you
For more information, view our Clean up, repairs and re-building page.
Take action against travelling con men
To help us warn your community about these dodgy dealers, please post links to this page on social media and forums.
If you know of travelling con men in your area:
record as much information as you can, such as their name and vehicle registration
call the national travelling con men hotline (1300 133 408) between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
report them to your local police - Bellarine Police Station on 5256 2698.
tweet using the Twitter hashtag #stopconmen
post on the Stop Travelling Con Men national Facebook page.
Source: Consumer Affairs - Victoria