Be wary of bitumen bandits scam

25th Apr 2023

New England Police District are urging local residents to remain wary of the bitumen (asphalt) scam. The fraudsters, known as Bitumen Bandits, offer to lay bitumen at what appears to be a great deal however, if a deposit is made, they often don’t commence the job.
If they do perform the job, the service provided is of a substandard quality with watered down bitumen laid on poorly graded ground or bitumen dumped on the driveway.
The fraudsters then demand substantially more money than initially quoted resulting in residents paying a third party to remove the bitumen and even the substandard bitumen that was laid.
The way the fraudsters engage with residents is intimidating and aggressive, often resulting in residents paying over fears for their safety.
While these ‘Bitumen Bandits’ can be very convincing and their sales pitch tactics may vary there are some characteristics to help identify them:
• They proactively approach residents going door to door.
• They may speak with a strong Irish accent.
• The quoted amount will literally be ‘too good to be true.’
• They may claim the reason they can perform the job cheaply is because they have leftover bitumen from a previous job.
• They may pressure residents to accept the deal, and even become aggressive or say the deal is only valid for that day.
• They may quote a reasonable price however, upon completion demand a higher payment.
• They may demand payment that day.
• If a deposit is made, they often vanish before commencement of the job.
Acting Commander, Kylie Phillips, said anyone who believes they have been approached by these conman are urged to collect whatever details possible – such a vehicle registrations – and pass them onto police as soon as possible.”
Residents who may be concerned about the legitimacy of their contractors can request to see a White Card, which all contractors and labourers in NSW are required to hold. If a quote exceeds $5000 the tradesperson will also be required to show a contractor’s licence.
You can keep up to date with the latest scams via
Residents can also report scams to the ACCC via this website or by calling 1300 795 995.