Fake gas inspectors arrested for conning victims out of millions

LAST UPDATED: 18 Mar, 2014 @ 10:17
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Fake gas inspectors arrested for conning victims out of millions

A NETWORK of fake gas inspectors has been busted by police for defrauding nearly 2,000 people, mostly pensioners, out of millions of euros.

Police have arrested 12 fraudsters so far, who formed part of 60 false companies dedicated to conning pensioners, foreigners and disabled people. The operation included raids on homes and businesses in Malaga, Granada and Almeria.

The con artists would call unannounced at a home, then demand money for a ‘necessary’ repair and if the owner refused they would threaten to cut the gas supply off and issue a fine.

More than €4,000,000 has been officially registered as taken from victims with the police but that actual amount is likely to be much higher, as many do not go to the police.

Occasionally they would obtain as much as €2,500 from a single home, but usually it was between €50 and €390.

There have been reports of ‘inspectors’ purposefully cutting tubes before demanding a fee for replacing it.

The network operated across Spain and Andalucia and the criminals are said to have lived luxuriously with multiple properties and cars.

Police raided homes and businesses in places such as Madrid, Elche and Leon. They have impounded 10 luxury cars, 19 computers, 12 hard discs and 14 mobile phones.

They have also shut down a total of 227 bank accounts opened at 19 different branches.

Police advise that gas equipment is inspected by law every five years and that nobody is allowed to turn up unannounced and inspect gas fittings.

29 COMMENTS

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  1. These sorts of scams thrive in a country that is itself scammy. When the police recently arrived at a house in Malaga where these bogus inspectors illegally entered a property, the police then said “no crime had been committed”. Spain in a nutshell, it just cannot make or enforce proper laws, and so these scammers thrive.

  2. Ah yes of course, squatters in a van branded as a gas company, with uniforms on, with gas equipment, asking the owner to carry out a gas inspection. How on earth could those silly homeowners mistake those people for gas inspection scammers? Oh and there are so many gas inspection scams taking millions of euros in the UK. Keep posting Caccia, it’s great to continue making you look a fool on here lol.

  3. To All,

    Now one can see the kind of response one gets from people like Fred. There must have been a reason why the police said “no crime had been committed” and perhaps we will know the reason later, but to jump into a negative conclusion without knowing the full facts is one of the reason why I respond to the type of write-ups one finds on these sites.

    I didn’t mention anything about gas inspection scams in the U.K I merely said:-

    As for scams I would be shocked to read of scams in the U.K.

    Keep the jokes coming Fred I just love em’.

  4. Caccia you need to stop posting and start reading the Olive Press more closely. I can’t help it if you are in a state of constant denial over widely reported stories. In this recent case, the owner was at home when the “inspectors” trespassed. How can a property occupied by a family who were resident at the time be in the process of being squatted? Doh.

    As always Caccia, you are the joke on here lol.

  5. “why did the police say no crime committed.”

    Because they are useless and could not be bothered, and are probably in on the whole scam as well. It’s akin to town halls saying properties are all legal and then one day they are not. Sound familiar?

    Anything else I can help you with?

  6. Caccia, take it up with the OP, I didn’t write the story, I’m just telling you what happened as you couldn’t be bothered to read the original article. It didn’t affect me personally, so I’m not sure what problem you are attributing to me. Btw, I live in two, sometimes three countries a year currently, so bag-packing is the norm. See ya.

  7. Fred,

    Sorry, didn’t realize you were a gypsy, now I understand why your not happy in one country. Perhaps when ya bag pack again whilst in Spain make sure you stay in the other countries.

    Those that are contented in living in Spain do get feed up with moaners. You just don’t get it.

    Had read the article by OP before I pointed out your mistake and nowhere did it mention:-

    “the police then said no crime had been committed”.

    It’s just something you added on as usual, that’s why I question such crappy write-ups you make and take it from the article court proceeding’s will follow.

    Repeat, nothing about “no crime had been committed. Perhaps I misread the article so I would appreciate it if you could direct me to that particular paragraph.

    Keep em’ coming, just love it.

  8. Caccia, I can’t help you with basic comprehension skills. Clearly no crime had been committed since otherwise the police would have made an arrest. So, the message to scam artists in Spain is that you can be a fake gas inspector, visit and enter properties, demand inspections and money from people, and then get away with it when the police arrive. That is the point.

    Btw, if you are fed up, as you say you are, then simply don’t visit this website. You just don’t get it.

  9. Fred,

    It would appear you admit at being a moaner by your last reply. It’s the moaners that I get fed up with and will make my point.

    Once again could you direct me to where it states no arrest has been made. Your jumping the gun again, but what it did say;-
    Police have arrested 12 fraudsters so far, who formed part of 60 false companies dedicated to conning pensioners, foreigners and disabled people. The operation included raids on homes and businesses in Malaga, Granada and Almeria.

  10. Caccia, you interpret my posts in your own way. I’m merely commentating on a blog, which is one of its main purposes.

    Anyway, I didn’t say I was fed up, you did. Btw, I can find the other article immediately, you’ll have to keep searching. Good luck to ya.

  11. Fred you said a phrase ‘it’s great to continue making you look a fool on here lol.’

    By admitting you LIKE trying to do this it just proves you’re an actual TROLL. That’s the definition right there. Social media is a very bad tool for you.

    If you’re a big guy, you’re probably a bully, or more likely a height deficient bitter person out for revenge on the world, hoping for the worst for everyone around you, whilst probably working out how much more money and material things you have than others.

    It’s just not right, people like yourself, who are simply out to oppress others too, regardless of views.

    The internet has twisted a lot of people. It’s a damn shame.

  12. Fred,

    No. it’s the moaners that need to move. I love living in Spain and really find no faults. It’s the Brits that have the reputation of breaking Spanish laws. Will just point out one little example. How many Brit Number plates do you see flying about, and they are not all tourists.

    Has anyone, meaning you also Fred, read this weeks
    EuroWeekly. People just can’t wait to purchase property and to perhaps live here.

    law changes are made in ever country and as for that crap you printed regarding the gas scam is another indication of adding false information, you printed:-

    “the police then said no crime had been committed”.

    Whereas the correct press information is:-

    Police have arrested 12 fraudsters so far, who formed part of 60 false companies dedicated to conning pensioners, foreigners and disabled people. The operation included raids on homes and businesses in Malaga, Granada and Almeria.

    Now ya see folks, the type of people like Fred that writes such crap.

    Would you like me to send the link you printed regarding this matter regarding the gas scam so that the folks can see the crap you write. I could send other links if you wish, but no, it would be too detrimental.

    Keep the jokes coming Fred, just love em’

  13. Thought I would just remind the folks what Fred had said.

    Fred
    MARCH 17TH, 2014 3:51 PM
    These sorts of scams thrive in a country that is itself scammy. When the police recently arrived at a house in Malaga where these bogus inspectors illegally entered a property, the police then said “no crime had been committed”. Spain in a nutshell, it just cannot make or enforce proper laws, and so these scammers thrive.

    First article top of page relating to the gas scam. Da.

  14. You are getting very frustrated Caccia and nobody understands what the hell you are talking about. So many posts and yet still so many mistakes.

    The article I referred to was a single specific article about a lady whose home was trespassed by two gas scammers. Even though they had been to that same house repeatedly and trespassed and harassed the owner, still no arrest was made when the police arrived whilst they were caught on her property (in that specific case). The other article about the general crackdown appeared later. Anyone can search and find these articles, anyone except you that is lol.

    By constantly taking replies out of context you make yourself look really stupid. Did you go to troll university?

  15. They did it to us too. Two people turned up unannounced in a crappy 15 year old car. If you invite them into your house they can do what they like so NEVER do that.

    I went to the Guardia Civil and they had a load of information on these people. They are acting on commission for a local gas company. Then the technician comes and carries out the necessary work, refusing to leave until paid.

    They target Spanish pensioners and foreigners. The sergente (sergeant) at the Guardia Civil made some phone calls on my behalf. Our inspection and replacing the rubber pipes cost €70. The same people have charged €2,500 to change 10m of rubber pipe for other locals. You have been warned!

  16. The gas scam is a well tried con. There are two things to remeber whenever someone comes to do something tecnical to your property. Have you been told they are coming? if not call the gas company who supply your gas. If you are still not sure take the operative’s ID card and professional card and call the police. They may not come but they will tell you if the documents are genuine. Remeber it costs 1€ for the Genuine orange hose and about 5€ for the gas bottle head. so that is the kind of money you should be paying plus a SMALL amount for the inspection. If the bill is larger, call the gas company.

  17. The thing is, Pedro, that in our particular case the company is involved as well as the guys that turn up at your door. The first ones are there only to “inspect your safety certificate” and advise you on what needs to be done – they do not issue a quote but say that the tecnico from the gas company will come and fix the problems and will be able to give a quote and a certificate (which is genuine as it is issued by the gas company). The tecnico then turns up carries out the work without giving a quote and then will not leave before he has been given an eye-watering sum in cash at which point the two introducers get their commission and the rest is shared between the tecnico and the gas company.

    None of this is illegal but all of it is immoral! The advice of my local Guardia Civil is to never invite any stranger into your property, if you do so they are there with your consent and there is nothing you can do about it. Walk out into the street if you want to talk to them (but my advice is to just tell them to go away!).

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