Initiative aims to help stop bogus callers

Superintendent Simon Walls, Jenny Pyper of the Utility Regulator and Eddie Lynch, the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland re-launch Quick Check 101, a scheme to help stop bogus callers. Under the scheme, residents can now phone 101, the police non-emergency number, 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 Irelands energy and water network companies - firmus energy, NIE Networks, Northern Ireland Water, Phoenix Natural Gas and SGN Natural Gas. Supported by the Commissioner for Older People, the scheme is being re-launched in a bid to help people feel safer in their homes. Photo by Simon Graham Photography
Superintendent Simon Walls, Jenny Pyper of the Utility Regulator and Eddie Lynch, the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland re-launch Quick Check 101, a scheme to help stop bogus callers. Under the scheme, residents can now phone 101, the police non-emergency number, 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 Irelands energy and water network companies - firmus energy, NIE Networks, Northern Ireland Water, Phoenix Natural Gas and SGN Natural Gas. Supported by the Commissioner for Older People, the scheme is being re-launched in a bid to help people feel safer in their homes. Photo by Simon Graham Photography

An initiative aimed at helping to stop bogus callers has been re-launced this week by the Utility Regulator and the PSNI.

Quick Check 101 allowes residents to phone 101, the police non-emergency number, 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 and is supported by the Commissioner for Older People in a bid 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.”

Superintendent Simon Walls, from District Policing Command, added: “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.”

Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch said: ““All older people deserve to feel safe in their own homes yet we often hear of bogus callers pretending to be from a utility company in order to gain access to an older person’s property. The re-launched Quick Check scheme is a quick and easy way for older people to check if a caller is genuine simply by calling the police non-emergency number ‘101’.”