Scammers target South Grafton businesses

SOUTH Grafton auto mechanic Jeff Rose has about 200sq m of the world's worst asphalt outside his Bent St business to remind him of his brush with a team of scammers who marauded into the Clarence Valley last week.

Thankfully for him and despite the almost non-existent quality control on the job, the work has remedied a dust problem for his workshop and was one of the reasons he was susceptible to the scam.

"Since they put the Return and Earn down behind us the traffic in the lane between us and BSC has become crazy," he said.

"We've been trying to get a local tradesperson to come and do the job and they won't even answer your calls.

"When they came along offering a cheap price for the job, I sort of knew what to expect. Even so, I don't think we've even got close to what we paid for."

Mr Rose he would make a phone call to the team to see if they were prepared to fix their poor workmanship.

"It's probably going to be a waste of time, but I've got a number for them, so I'll give them a ring to see what they have to say," he said.

"Personally I don't think the job's going to last a year. The surface is already starting to lift at the edges and you can see where they haven't even bothered to fix the potholes."

He was out of town when the scammers first called.

"The boys there called me and told me the offer. I told them to get a written quote and an ABN number, which they had, so I thought they must be a legitimate business.

"They had all the right equipment, diggers and spreaders and the bitumen tank."

But he knew something was wrong when he came back and saw the workmen spreading bitumen on a barely prepared surface.

President of the South Grafton Progress Association Robert Cook was also caught.

Mr Cook, who owns land adjoining Mr Rose's business contributed to the $9000 bill for the job.

He was most disappointed at the lack of redress available to local businesses.

"When I realised we had been caught up in a scam I called the police," he said.

"Basically they told me there was nothing they could do. We had paid for work to be done, the work was done. It didn't matter to them what the quality was like."