Belfast Telegraph

Police warning over bogus callers after man pretending to be from the Waterboard calls at Belfast house

Police are reminding homeowners to be wary of bogus callers after a man purporting to be from the Waterboard called at a house in Belfast.

The incident happened in the Cairo Street area of the City on Saturday January 3.

When the man was asked for identification he ran off.

Sergeant David Byrne explained: "Yesterday morning, a man purporting to be from the Waterboard called at a house in the area.  When the owner of the property asked for identification the man ran off."

Police are reminding the public that if they are concerned about bogus callers at their home they can use a special free phone service – Quick Check 0800 013 22 90 - to help them check if a visitor is genuine.

Criminals sometimes use a tactic where they pretend to be from a company, for example, water board, electricity generator, gas supplier or cable and satellite TV sales and repair, to trick their way into a house.

It must be stressed that this happens rarely however once inside, they will search for things to steal, usually cash or jewellery and then make their escape without alerting the householder.

Quick Check personnel who answer your call are trained specifically to help determine if a caller is genuine.

If you believe someone is not, the Quick Check operator will call the company the person claims to be representing to check if they are genuine. If there is something suspicious the operator will contact the police directly.

Members of the public should also bear in mind the following advice when dealing with unexpected visitors:

• Think before you open the door - use your chain and spy hole or look out of the window to see if you recognise them.

• Ask callers for proof of identity. Genuine tradesmen should carry a photographic identification card. Check this carefully. If you are unsure,telephone Quick Check.

• Beware of callers who attempt to distract you by claiming that they have seen something untoward in your rear garden or somewhere that may encourage you to leave your house - they may have an accomplice who is waiting to act upon this distraction.

• If you are not convinced of the identity of the caller, don’t let them in. Ask the caller to come back later and arrange for a friend, relative or neighbour to be present on their return.

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