Police tape.
Police tape. Contributed

Beware: Bitumen scam

POLICE are warning shonky road-surfacing salesmen dubbed the "Bitumen Bandits" could be doing the rounds of the Fraser Coast.

Booral and Craignish community members have reported alleged fraudsters offering cheap bitumen left overs from work performed in the area.

One Booral resident yesterday described raising the alarm after a suspected scammer tried to con her into a bitumen deal.

The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Chronicle a man in a white Toyota Landcruiser went door to door in a Booral street but could not provide credentials or a company name when questioned.

Maryborough Patrol Group Crime Prevention Coordinator Senior Constable Melanie Ryan reminded residents "if it sounds too good to be true, chances are it is".

"To the best of our knowledge nobody has been caught out by this suspected scam yet," she said.

"One recent report was received early last week, with another only this week, which means they are out and about.

"Whilst there are plenty of legitimate businesses out there, there are also plenty of scammers ready and willing to take your money, particularly at this time of the year."

Sen-Constable Ryan said always check the credentials of the business, ask for details, research prior to engaging in any work and if in doubt report it.

"These men have been reported in partners knocking on doors but also by themselves," she said.

"It is great people are starting to recognise scams sooner rather than later.

"This incident could be fraudulent by obtaining funds incorrectly, performing work not recognised under building codes, performing work not up to scratch or taking money and not coming back to do it.

"This is a timely reminder coming into the Christmas season check what you are buying, how payments are made and definitely report it to us."

Keeping an eye out for fraud also means watching for counterfeit notes after more fake $5 notes were found in the region yesterday.

Sen-Constable Ryan said a counterfeit note had been found in Pialba and others handed into police after being found on the side of Saltwater Creek Rd.

"If you believe you may have been scammed or have information regarding these scams please report the matter to Scamwatch or Policelink on 131 444," she said.



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