SCAM: The office of fair trade is warning of Bitumen Bandits operating in the Gladstone Area.
SCAM: The office of fair trade is warning of Bitumen Bandits operating in the Gladstone Area.

SCAM ALERT: Bitumen bandits targeting Gladstone

TRAVELLING traders offering cheap prices for driveway repairs that sound too good to be true are exactly that.

The Office of Fair Trading is warning residents in Gladstone of people offering driveway repairs and bitumen services leaving consumers out of pocket.

The labourers vary their approaches and mix and match their sales pitches depending on what they think will work with the particular consumers they are targeting.

The Office of Fair trade warns to look out for the following:

• Often they claim they have bitumen left over from another job and so they can offer it at a "cheap price today only".

• Sometimes watered down bitumen is laid on ungraded or poorly graded ground and consumers find themselves out of pocket twice as they later have to pay another trader to have it removed and replaced.

• On other occasions the traders initially quote a low cost then a much higher payment is demanded during the work for it to be completed. Consumers sometimes comply because if the work isn't finished they can't get their car out of the garage.

• Sometimes the scammers simply take large deposits, perform no work, and never return.

OFT warns consumers have no way to get a refund as these types of traders usually vanish.

Consumers are reminded door-to-door traders must generally not accept payment or commence work on a property within a 10-business-day cooling-off period and consumers can cancel any agreement within this period without penalty.

If you think you have seen these traders, contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 QGOV (13 74 68) to help track their movements and warn other consumers.

Related stories:

DON'T BE FOOLED: Dodgy bitumen bandits are targeting CQ

5 sneaky scams that ripped off Gladstone residents

Beware: Bitumen scam


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