SGN Natural Gas and the PSNI have reminded the public of the Quick Check Scheme 101 number after a bogus caller attempted to gain access to a home in Strabane on the pretext of checking a gas boiler.
Darren Young, Head of Business Development with SGN Natural Gas, said that thankfully the householder’s suspicions were alerted as the caller did not produce the necessary ID and was refused entry to the property. The incident, which happened last Thursday, 17th September 2020, was also immediately reported to the police and investigations are ongoing.
SGN Natural Gas stressed that its employees would never seek access to a resident’s home without prior arrangement with the householder. The company is currently operating a 1-1 virtual appointment service for domestic customers connecting to natural gas in the network area to help keep both their staff and the public safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Quick Check Scheme exists to provide reassurance to members of the public about callers to their door claiming to be from Utility Companies. The Scheme is operated by the PSNI in collaboration with the Utility Regulator and five energy network companies, SGN Natural Gas, firmus energy distribution, Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, Northern Ireland Water and Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd.
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 101 number to verify their identity.
Chief Inspector Rosie Thompson said: “The majority of callers to your home will be there for genuine reasons. However, there are those who may pose as official callers from utility companies. If you are concerned about the identity of someone at your door, call 101 and you will be given the option of going through to the Quick Check facility.”
“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 organisation/utility supplier to determine whether the caller is genuine.”
“If they are not who they say they are or you think that there is something suspicious, the operator will be able to send the police directly to you.”
The spokesperson added: “Bogus callers may claim to be from utility suppliers and other reputable organisations, in order to gain access to a property. Once access has been gained, they will steal money and other valuables.”
“Callers should always have proof of identity clearly displayed. Genuine callers will be only too happy to provide their identification 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.”
For more information and advice please visit: psni.police.uk/advice_information/protecting-your-home/quick-check/