Published On: Fri, Dec 8th, 2023

Two men arrested after elderly people targeted by bedbug scam | World | News

Two men have been arrested in France after elderly people reportedly paid thousands of euros for unnecessary bedbug treatment.

Police in Strasbourg said the men would enter their victims’ homes and carry out phoney control services. Officers say they were then overcharged for treatment products, reports the BBC.

Police say 48 people have been scammed in total. Many of the victims were women over the age of 90.

In recent months there has been a spike in bedbug infestations across France. It sparked widespread concern across the country.

Senior government officials are working on measures to address the outbreak. Meanwhile health experts say it has led to an increase in false bedbug sightings and unwarranted hysteria.

Authorities said the alleged scammers would call the victims and say there was an infestation in their area. They would then visit the address while posing as a health official.

Police allege the scammers would then use aerosol spray and pretend to fumigate the house. Before leaving the home they would offer an ointment they claimed would keep the bugs away from human skin.

It was in fact a eucalyptus-scented cream. Victims would be charged between €300 and €2,100 (£257 and £1,800).

Police said they had received a total of nine formal complaints for suspected fraud. The suspects were then placed under surveillance and arrested as they left the home of an alleged victim in Strasbourg.

The infestations in Paris have led to fears the problem could spread across the Channel to London.

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