Opinion: Watch out for the rat pack scammers

This letter sent to the Star was written by CM Langan, Beauchief, S8

Friday, 24th May 2019, 11:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 7:56 am

Just when I thought I'd heard it all, I've just been reading about another scam that's now doing the rounds, a particularly nasty one, so I'm going to be well prepared if it makes its way to this neck of the woods.

These particular scammers have been either slinging or silently secreting dead rats into people's gardens, then, (forgive the forthcoming pun), rat-a-tat-tat, they come a-knocking on your door claiming you've got a rat problem and that they're pest controllers. They then proceed to ask for money in order to sort out your vermin problem.

Well, that really plays upon people who are absolutely terrified of rats, (me included!), as well as the elderly or disabled. People who are too ill, infirm, incapacitated or plain petrified to dispose of or eliminate any of these rats from their properties would only be too happy to have someone willing to do it for them and will soon be reaching for their purses.

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Well, don't fall into this (rat) trap, anyone! The advice is to not necessarily suspect a problem with vermin if you find a rat, (maybe with a companion or two), who's gone to a better place on your patio or lawn. Especially if that rat-a-tat-tat takes place on your door suspiciously soon after you've made your grim discovery.

Let's hope social services, anti-fraud/scam organisations, Age UK and other charities for the elderly and disabled are already onto this scam and are advising people who have been affected or are potentially likely to be.

As well as the obvious health and safety issues, this is an extra incentive for councils to get on top of any vermin problems so that scammers won't take advantage of any failings and have a plentiful supply to throw onto people's properties.

So watch out if the rat pack come rat-a-tat-tatting on your door because these rats are probably the biggest rats of the lot in the malevolent underworld of scammers and fraudsters.