‘Bitumen bandits’ reported in Murray Bridge
South Australia’s Consumer and Business Services has received troubling new reports of bitumen bandits operating across the state, including in Murray Bridge.
Consumer and Business Services has received 12 new complaints about so-called bitumen bandits operating in SA towns and suburbs, and one of the targeted areas is Murray Bridge.
State and federal agencies, including the South Australian Police and Border Force, are investigating the offences.
The bitumen bandits are unlicensed traders who travel from town to town, targeting homes and businesses.
The scam involves the bitumen bandits claiming they have bitumen left over from a previous job and offering to do work cheaply.
However, the work is dodgy and often leaves consumers struggling to pay for the substandard work to be fixed.
At least one Murraylands business was stung by similar scammers who came through the Murraylands last year.
Dini Soulio, the state’s Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, warned people to be situationally aware of the bitumen bandit scam.
“People should never accept an offer from someone going door to door without doing their research first,” he said.
“Seek multiple quotes, look for testimonials, and if the trader is using high-pressure tactics to try and force a sale, don’t engage.”
Anyone who has encountered bitumen bandits should contact Consumer and Business Services on 131 882 or at www.cbs.sa.gov.au/contact-cbs as soon as possible, as the offenders often move to a new location before being reported.
Offenders who perform unlicensed building work face up to a $50,000 fine, and the maximum penalty for a breach of Australian Consumer Law is a $2.5 million fine.
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