Mr Stowe said people should avoid dealing with itinerant traders offering home building and maintenance work and report any sightings of travelling conmen (TCM) to the national travelling conmen hotline on 1300 133 408.
“We received a report yesterday about an individual operating in the area,” he said. “The man has a strong Irish accent. He will potentially offer to do a range of work including line-marking of carparks and roof painting, restoration and cleaning.
“Anyone who has contracted with this individual is urged to report the matter to the hotline as soon as possible.”
Mr Stowe said a number of travelling conmen and groups were currently working in various parts of the state and were particularly targeting regional consumers and businesses.
“It is very important that we receive complaints so we can identify offenders and prosecute them,” he said.
“We rely on public information and support to take the fight up to travelling conmen and to help us protect vulnerable community members.
“Travelling conmen will often offer what seems to be a cheap price on jobs, only to do sub-standard work and then insist on inflated prices for payment.
“They will often pressure people to pay cash and they regularly use intimidation and threats to extract payment.
“These are contemptible practices and that is why we continue to warn communities as soon as we are aware of these individuals and groups operating in communities.”
Fair Trading recommends consumers contract with local, licensed tradespeople. The Australian Consumer Law prohibits contractors from intimidating or threatening consumers for payment.
If consumers feel threatened they should call NSW police immediately. If anyone door-knocks to do work valued at more than $100, the consumer must be given a 10 business day cooling off period before work may start or payment can be made.