Travelling con men are dodgy tradesmen who knock on doors of homes and small businesses, offering to do maintenance work. They appear more frequently during warmer weather and after natural disasters such as floods, fires and storms, when vulnerable people are cleaning up or repairing their properties.
Travelling con men ask for cash before starting work and frequently disappear as soon as you pay them. If they do any work, it is often unfinished or of a poor standard. They move quickly and usually only give a first name and mobile number – so contacting them afterwards is difficult.
In October 2016, Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz launched a campaign aimed at helping people identify and turn down travelling con men. The campaign, in partnership with Crime Stoppers Victoria, ran until March 2017 across TV, radio, print and social media. The message was simple: if you suspect a travelling con man is at your door, ask them to leave. If they refuse, they are breaking the law.
We work hard to educate Victorians to recognise and avoid travelling con men, and alert communities when travelling con men are in a particular area. Travelling con men often target vulnerable consumers and residents who speak little or no English, so key messages of the campaign were translated into eight languages.
Travelling con men video