Recently, we have had some reports again about people pretending to have been sent by your gas supplier to check your pipes and measure carbon monoxide levels in your home. These scammers then go ahead and change the regulators, sometimes badly (which is potentially very dangerous), and charge cash a lot of money in cash.
They were last seen in Albuñuelas, but can pop up in all villages. This is not just local to the Lecrin Valley – it is an issue across all of Spain.
Here’s the low-down and how you can spot them…
Have you made an appointment?
In general, no one ever comes to your door without an appointment, so don’t let anyone into your house unless you have specifically spoken to your supplier and requested a visit.
You would normally get a letter from your gas supplier telling you when they will be going to call.
Call your supplier to check
If you think a caller is genuine, call your normal supplier, not the number shown on their (potentially fake) identification card. They should wear some kind of uniform, show their identification and would normally be in an official branded vehicle.
Take a photo for your records
The bogus visitors don’t like that and will run. If not, and they turn out to be fake after all, you can use it to show the police. DO NOT POST those photos on Facebook though. Doing so is against the law and you could be prosecuted but you may write a description.
No real supplier would ever charge you cash for a legitimate visit. They would always add the cost (although there usually is no cost) to your bill.
If you have been a victim of one of these scam-artists, don´t blame yourself too much. They are very good at conning people and nowadays, it is easy to print fake ID etc. with logos from the real suppliers. Just spread the word to help others.
If you receive an unwanted visit by anyone suspicious, call the local policía – 092.
Please note: Gas bottle pipes and regulators do have a limited lifespan and should be replaced reasonably regularly. The rubber can get brittle and crack – particularly in warm climates like ours. Gas hobs, ovens, estufas (heaters) and so on all have an orange rubber pipe with an expiration date on it. Check your pipe is in date and if not, you can buy a replacement and change it yourself or get your usual plumber to help you.