A TRADE association that represents genuine gas installation and maintenance engineers in Spain has issued a new warning about fake ‘inspectors’ preying on vulnerable people.
The body points out that as autumn and cooler weather has arrived the number of scams being reported is on the up.
The scam is targeted mainly at the elderly and the association is calling on good neighbours to alert the vulnerable how the fraudsters act.
“Often they pose as technicians of the gas company, often dressed in uniform, or they say they come from the town hall or from the corresponding autonomous community,” says José María de la Fuente, the president of Agremia.
The scammers turn up on the doorstep without warning to say that they have to conduct a gas inspection.
They will generally declare the installation has a serious defect but charge exhorbitant prices for minor parts.
There are reports that some people have been conned out of more than €100 to replace an out-of-date gas hose that would cost around €5 from a hardware store and take just minutes for the average person to easily change themselves.
And Agremia, has reported that, sometimes, these false gas inspectors pressure people by saying that failure to carry out the review and the subsequent reapirs will put their safety and that of their neighbors in serious danger.
These fraudsters also sometimes say that if the inspection is not carried out, the gas can be cut off or they can be subject to heavy fines.
The association recommends calling the police in case a stranger shows up at your door without a prior appointment.
They say that if you have a natural gas in your home, it will be the distribution company that will notify you by letter of the approximate date when the review will take place.
On the other hand, the association says that if you have a gas cylinder installation, it is the client who has to hire a company to carry out the inspection.