Fake electricians hitting on Brit expat pensioners in Marbella

Published:  3 May at 6 PM
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It seems Brit expats’ favourite retirement hub in Spain is reverting to its old title, the Costa del Crime!

Yet another report of criminal activity along the Costa del Sol is hitting the English language press, increasing the fears of local British expat retirees about the safety of their chosen bolt-hole. A recent media report indicates local villains’ favourite rip-off techniques are back in favour, as yet another phony electrician is arrested by local police after robbing at least five homes in Marbella.

Carefully choosing homes owned by expat retirees living alone and staking out his potential victims’ movements, the thief then charmed his way into private properties by pretending to be from the local electricity service provider. Wearing a convincing fake uniform, he told owners he needed to review their electrical installation, thus gaining access to every room in the selected houses, distracting his targets by asking them to test plugs and switches. As he moved from room to room, he stole cash, jewellery and other items of value, a modus operandum used regularly by crooks over the past four or five years in the region.

Two years ago, one such villain thought he’d hit the jackpot as he robbed an unsuspecting British pensioner of over €10,000-worth of cash and jewellery, with no subsequent reports suggesting the thief had been arrested and jailed. Tips to foil this scam before a thief can get his foot through the door include demanding the accreditation and ID of every unknown caller and keeping the door closed until after you’ve verified they’re genuine. Authorised inspectors will have phone numbers on their accreditation slips, allowing concerned homeowners to check by calling. Homeowners should remember that the suppliers of gas, water, electricity or other utilities almost always call customers to inform them a visit is due. Should a call not have been received, it’s best to keep your door shut.
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