PSNI's fresh bid to crack down on bogus callers
The PSNI has launched a fresh bid to crackdown on bogus callers.
Quick Check 101 was re-launched on Monday by the Utility Regulator and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
It means residents can now phone the police non-emergency number 101 to check the identity of callers to their home who claim to represent an energy or water network company.
The scheme is not only a collaboration between the PSNI and the Utility Regulator, but also includes all of Northern Ireland’s energy and water network companies - firmus energy, NIE Networks, Northern Ireland Water, Phoenix Natural Gas and SGN Natural Gas.
It is supported by the Commissioner for Older People and is being re-launched to help people feel safer in their homes.
Jenny Pyper, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator said: “Bogus callers are people who call at your house claiming to be from an organisation in order to trick their way into your home and steal from you. Although most people who call at your door are genuine, some are unfortunately not. As protecting the interests of consumers is at the heart of what we do, we wanted to enhance the good work already being carried out by the energy and water companies to tackle bogus callers.
“Re-launching the Quick Check 101 scheme is part of our wider Consumer Protection Strategy which is aimed at providing real and positive change for energy and water consumers in Northern Ireland. The scheme is an important part of that Strategy and aims to make sure consumers feel safer when utility company staff visit their home.
“I want consumers to feel empowered and confident in dealing with people who call at their door. This scheme, developed in partnership with the network companies and PSNI, will help make a difference.”
Superintendent Simon Walls said: “The Quick Check scheme provides reassurance to members of the public about callers to their door claiming to be from network companies. Anyone who wishes to check the identity of someone who says they are calling on the pretext of inspecting gas, electricity or water supplies can now call the police non-emergency 101 number to verify their identity.
“Your call will be answered by a trained police call handler who will take the details of the company which the caller claims to be working for. The call handler will then contact the utility supplier to determine whether the caller is genuine.
“I would encourage members of the public to follow our advice when dealing with unexpected visitors to their home.”
PSNI ADVICE FOR UNEXPECTED CALLERS:
- Callers should always be asked for proof of identity. Genuine callers will be only too happy to provide this information and to wait outside the property until it is verified. No caller should be given access to the property until the householder is sure they are genuine.
- Never leave doors unlocked and do not to leave keys in an unsafe place (such as under doormats or flower pots)
Follow this advice when answering the door:
- Before answering the front door, make sure the back door is locked.
- If you have a door chain, remember to use it before opening the door. If not, we recommend you get one installed.
- Ask the caller for their identification and check it carefully.
- Ask them to wait outside and close the door - genuine callers will not mind.
- Ring Quick Check on 101. The call will be answered personally and promptly by a trained police call handler. They will check with the company that the person at the door is genuine. If they are not or they think that there is something suspicious, the operator will be able send the police to you.
- Do not let anyone into the property until you are satisfied as to who they are
Calls to the Quick Check 101 number from landlines or mobile phones cost 15 pence, regardless of the length of time you are on the phone or the time of the day you call. Members of the public should dial 028 9065 0222 if they are unable to dial 101.Some mobile providers or contracts do not permit you to dial 101 – please check with your provider.
The use of the PSNI’s non-emergency 101, number replaces the old Quick Check number 0800 013 2290. All calls to the 0800 number will be diverted to the 101 number.
Belfast Telegraph Digital