NewsTwo men profit from a fabricated bedbug plague in France

Two men profit from a fabricated bedbug plague in France

An employee of Societe Mesnuisibles sprays insecticide in an apartment in Paris. Illustrative photo.
An employee of Societe Mesnuisibles sprays insecticide in an apartment in Paris. Illustrative photo.
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ed. PJM
5:53 PM EST, December 8, 2023

Police in France arrested two men for defrauding individuals with a bedbug scam. The culprits targeted and extorted funds from elderly people, offering to exterminate non-existent bedbugs. Experts warn this highlights the potential for criminals to exploit the current wave of hysteria surrounding the bedbug situation in France.

The authorities in Strasbourg have detained two men suspected of defrauding a total of 48 people, a significant portion of whom are women over 90 years old, according to the BBC. The scammers capitalized on the fear surrounding France's ongoing bedbug problem to extort the money.

The officials disclosed that the men would contact potential victims, claiming an outbreak of bedbugs in the area. They would then select houses to visit under the guise of being health service officials. During their visit, they would carry out fake "disinfection" procedures using aerosols.

Not only would they pretend to disinfect homes, but they also offered to sell a special cream that claimed to repel insects. In truth, it was nothing more than an ordinary cream with a eucalyptus scent. The tricksters charged between 300 and 2100 euros for each visit. The suspicious men were apprehended by the police as they were leaving another victim's home in Strasbourg.

In recent months, France has seen a surge in bedbug infestations. The spread of insects has sparked immense concern nationwide. The BBC disclosed that government officials are seeking solutions, and both entomologists and health experts caution that the widespread fear has led to a rise in the number of unsubstantiated reports.

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