POLICE have warned North East residents not to be fooled by “extremely cunning” travelling conmen, described as Irish pikeys.
The men go from door to door offering cheap “today-only” deals on bitumen work, then sting unwitting customers with hefty fees.
Myrtleford’s Leading Constable Bernard Murphy said the conmen hit one state at a time with their sophisticated Australia-wide operation.
The ploy often involves a well-dressed man delivering his too-good-to-be-true sales pitch in an “Irish pikey” accent — think Brad Pitt in the movie Snatch.
The man says he can seal your driveway with bitumen for as little as $500 — cash.
If the bait is taken, a “boggy job” is followed by demands for payment with a great deal of pressure to pay.
Constable Murphy said he had had four reports in the Myrtleford area with others at Chiltern.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has also warned the conmen are operating in the Porepunkah, Harrietville and Katandra areas, with more than a dozen recent reports.
It also said conmen had been providing shoddy paintwork, with five reports in Wodonga and four in Wangaratta.
Hume region consumer affairs manager urged Michael D’Elia urged people to use established tradespeople who provided written quotes and not today-only cash deals.
Note take registrations and descriptions, such as accents and clothing.
Report cases to Consumer Affairs Victoria hotline 1300 133 408.
Visit the stop travelling conmen Facebook page.
Twitter users can go to hashtag #stopconmen for the latest reports.
They can also visit the website consumer.vic.gov.au/resources-and-education/scams/travelling-con-men.