EXCLUSIVE By Wendy Williams
A BRITISH pensioner has been stung for nearly two thousand euros by bogus gas men.
Thomas Collier, 71, was stung for 1,684 euros by three men claiming to work for a Malaga gas company.
The men from unknown company ‘Mantamiento GLP Malaga’ told him he had to have a gas inspection and then insisted on the costly works.
“They insisted it was a legal requirement,” explained Collier who has lived in Orgiva for 10 years.
“They insisted the tubes were all out of date and without a certificate I wouldn’t be able to sell the house.
“It turns out they were charging at least double for all the parts.”
When the Olive Press tried to contact Mantamiento GLP Malaga the number listed was out of service.
Scams of this sort are becoming endemic across Andalucia with the gas men praying largely on expatriates.
The Olive Press has discovered scores of victims, including Gillian Thomas, 62, who lives in Moraleda, near Granada, who was visited recently.
“They were very pushy,” she said, adding: “What’s worrying is that they only seem to be targeting expats but how do they know where we are?
“When I questioned them they got defensive.”
Meanwhile Laura King who lives in La Gorgoracha near Motril is another victim.
“We were ripped off to the tune of 479 euros, which was money we’d saved to have our roof repaired,” she explained.
“I did put it in the hands of a solicitor but she has had no luck as I signed the form.”
The modus operandi is for ‘gasmen’ to turn up unannounced and browbeat expats into having a ‘compulsory’ gas inspection costing the victim anything from 40 euros to nearly 2,000 euros.
By law, pipes and regulators must be inspected every five years.
But a spokesman for regulator Cogasa confirmed that the clients have the right to choose which company they use.
“And they should not feel under pressure to let a stranger into their home,” she said.
Furthermore, any reputable company will make a prior appointment to carry out an inspection, and ID should be offered for thorough examination.
“If in doubt, call Cogasa to check if there are inspectors in the area before you let them in,” added the spokeswoman.