Conmen in Orange, authorities warn

ORANGE residents are being warned a group conmen, including Irish travellers, are targeting the area.

Fair Trading has confirmed that two groups of workers have been spotted in the Orange and Dubbo area in the past week.

Acting NSW Fair Trading Commissioner John Tansey said he expected the groups to move quickly to new areas once they're detected.

"One Irish group has reportedly hired a van in Dubbo and another group appear to be operating in Orange," Mr Tansey said.

"We know these guys are itinerant and at this point there's no suggestion they are in Dubbo or Orange because they have relatives in the area."


Mr Tansey said the group appear to be "cold calling" households in the middle of the day and offering a range of services.

He said while they may not set out to target the elderly, often that's who's home when they're door-knocking houses in the middle of the day.

"Be very wary of people who door-knock to obtain work," Mr Tansey said.

"The standard way they operate is they'll approach you and then say they're only in the area for a day," Mr Tansey said.

"Typically they'll offer a rate that's too good to be true."

Mr Tansey said Fair Trading warns anyone doing home building and maintenance work to check the trades person's licences, call Fair Trading for advice, avoid cash payments and report any suspicious activity to the travelling conmen's national hotline on 1300 133 408.

Mr Tansey said travelling conmen usually offer to do bitumen, roofing, construction, cleaning of surfaces using high-pressure water hoses, as well as other home maintenance jobs. 

He said they're generally unlicensed for the work they do, their work is poor quality and they usually take cash payments and disappear soon after.

Fair Trading's warning comes after a report that two men with Irish accents had targeted an elderly man in Orange on New Year's Day.

The two men were not operating under a legitimate business registered in Australia and are believed to be members of an Irish/English gypsy group. 

Canobolas Local Area Command's crime prevention officer Greg Treavors said the elderly man did the right thing by contacting police.

"They commonly target elderly people," he said.

"But this man wasn't caught out."

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