Be on guard for fraudster “gas inspectors”
The Guardia Civil has issued an advisory note because of an almost universal scam where someone turns up at a property to carry out a “gas maintenance inspection”. At present, it appears that it has spread like wildfire through the mainland, and it might well arrive here in due course. The so-called “inspectors” are insistent, say the GC, and are even uniformed to look like household name businesses, like Repsol or Cepsa. They charge for unnecessary inspections and always find “urgent problems or alterations” to create a formal-looking bill of hundreds of Euros, and cannot be accused of fraud because they get householders to sign an order for the work.
The GC stress that it is only the person responsible for the gas installation (whether owner or tenant) who is responsible for carrying out gas inspections, and this is something they are required to do. Indeed they are required by law to carry out their own inspections every five years. In the case of those with piped gas, they will have a distributor who will arrange this, sending an inspector to a pre-arranged appointment. Payment for the inspection is made by the householder in the subsequent gas bill.
In the case of bottled gas too, users must have an inspection every five years, but in this case, must find a business specifically authorized to carry out inspections. Payment will again be made by the householder, but in this instance, by specific invoice. Note that you must find these businesses – they do not approach you. Anyone who approaches you for a gas installation/maintenance inspection is almost certainly not from an authorized business, and may well be part of this known scam. They look the business. They are not. Be on guard and refuse them entry.