All residents are being urged to carefully check the credentials of any visitors and if unsure call the police non-emergency 101 number to verify their identity.
Bogus callers are an all too common problem, and their preferred course of action is to pose as staff seeking to gain entry to check the water supply in the customer’s property, or causing distraction while an accomplice breaks in. Once they have gained entry they will distract the customer and try to steal valuables lying around the home.
Gary Lawther, Customer Experience Senior Manager, gives this advice, “It is unusual that someone claiming to be from NI Water will need to call at your door if you are not expecting them. However, if this does happen, simply call the ‘Quick Check’ number on 101. 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 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 the caller claims to be working for. The call handler will then contact the utility supplier to determine whether the caller is genuine.”
Graham Smith, Head of Water at the Consumer Council said, “Consumers should always treat unexpected callers with caution and ask for ID before allowing them into their home, a genuine person will not mind showing it. Consumers can also phone the company the person is representing or check online but they should never use the contact details the person gives as these could be fake. Along with the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Quick Check Scheme, older consumers can make use of the Nominated Neighbour Scheme. Through the scheme, an older consumer can ask the caller to contact their Nominated Neighbour to check the caller’s identity. More importantly, if consumers feel threatened or in immediate danger, they should call 999.”
There are occasions when households will be visited by NI Water’s quality samplers. These samples, taken from customers’ taps, are taken in line with the drinking water regulations and are vital to ensuring water quality is checked and maintained all year round. However, customers should remember that water quality samplers will always carry NI Water identification.
NI Water also provides a range of free additional services if you have a disability, are an older consumer, have a serious medical condition or need extra help for any other reason.
Join NI Water’s Customer Care Register by calling Waterline on 03457 440088.