Don’t be duped by conmen

Consumer Affairs Victoria is warning residents to be cautious of work for cash offers following reports of travelling conmen in Traralgon’s east recently.

Men dressed in high-vision jackets with Irish accents were reported knocking on residential doors offering to seal driveways in the Wilmot Crescent area.

One resident, who was approached by the alleged conmen, said the same men had tried a similar scheme a few years earlier.

She said the men’s attire was “too clean, with not a speck on it” to be legitimate.

A Consumer Affairs Victoria spokesperson said there had been five reports of “travelling conmen” activity in the Latrobe City local government area during the 2014-2015 financial year.

The regional LGA with the most reports in that year was Mitchell with nine, followed by Greater Geelong with eight and Greater Bendigo with seven.

The spokesperson said travelling scammers were generally more active in the warmer months and warned residents to be extra vigilant at this time of year.

“Conmen know spring and summer is when people are most likely to spend money on home improvements such as driveway upgrades and roof-restoration work,” the spokesperson said.

“Residents should be wary of anyone who knocks on the door unexpectedly to offer services such as painting, road resurfacing, gardening or roof repairs, insists on up-front cash payments (or) offers special deals that are only available ‘for today only’.”

The spokesperson advised people in need of repairs to shop around and do a thorough history check on potential tradespeople.

Residents who encounter suspected travelling conmen should phone the national travelling conmen hot line on

1300 133 408, or phone their local police station.