BITUMEN bandits are targeting Duaringa according to the Office of Fair Trading. PICTURE: ZOE PHILLIPS
BITUMEN bandits are targeting Duaringa according to the Office of Fair Trading. PICTURE: ZOE PHILLIPS

WARNING: Bitumen bandits target small town west of Rocky

BITUMEN bandits are still on the loose in Central Queensland, targeting a small town west of Rockhampton.

A warning was issued by the Office of Fair Trading after reports of an itinerant trader in Duaringa offering bitumen-laying services at an allegedly reduced cost.

Fair Trading warned itinerant bitumen layers often leave consumers out of pocket.

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

They often claim they have bitumen left over from another job and so they can offer it at a “cheap price today only”, according to Fair Trading.

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.

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

Fair Trading said 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).