Buchan families told to be wary of bogus pest controllers following court case

Experts warn against conmen lying about non-existent infestations including rats
Experts warn against conmen lying about non-existent infestations including rats

Families in Buchan are being urged to demand formal identification before allowing pest controllers into their home.

A court heard earlier this month how a conman posing as a local authority contractor duped scores of elderly people by lying about non-existent problems such as infestations of rats.

Industry experts are now warning those hit by pest problems to be on their guard against similar scams.

They say homeowners should only ever employ companies linked to a professional body and must ask to see credentials before agreeing to any work.

Simon Forrester, chief executive of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), said: “The threat posed by bogus officials is ever-present and people should always be on their guard.

“I was really sad to learn that more people have fallen victim to this type of conman, but sadly it’s not that unusual.

“Professional pest controllers will never ‘cold call’ anyone, so people who are approached out of the blue should simply close the door.

“Those who do find evidence of an infestation should only approach pest control companies who are registered with a professional body such as the BPCA.”

The conman, believed to have escaped with thousands of pounds after preying on victims throughout the West Midlands, was jailed for seven years by Birmingham Crown Court.

The not-for-profit BPCA is the leading trade association for public health pest control in the UK. Membership acts as a demonstration of expert credentials as companies are obliged to meet rigorous criteria.

The body also operates a free ‘Find A Pest Controller’ facility, which creates a quick and easy way to find member companies in any part of the country.

Mr Forrester added: “Every company on our database employs only legitimate, fully-qualified pest controllers, so people who choose a BPCA member can be sure they’re using an expert in the field and are exactly who they say they are.”

“And our search engine makes the process of finding and appointing the right company in any area very simple.”

The BPCA ‘Find A Pest Controller’ facility can be reached by going to www.bpca.org.uk