It's Christmas time - there's no need to be afraid (of bogus callers)
14 December 2017 14:45
Christmas is here, and many of us will be getting ready to open our doors to visiting friends and family.
However, not all such callers will be spreading festive cheer; some will be out to give their victims a 'blue' Christmas, preying on older or more vulnerable customers while claiming to represent NI Water.
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.
If a caller claiming to be from NI Water, or even the Water Service or Water Board, knocks at your door during the Christmas and New Year period, always ask to see their ID. This will have a photograph of the person carrying it and include details such as their name, a unique serial number and our NI Water logo, as well as a signature from the Chief Executive. Also attach your door chain, if you have one; if not, ask the caller to hold the ID up to a window or put it through your letterbox so you can read it properly without opening your door. If you have any doubts, please call our customer helpline on 03457 440088.
Des Nevin, NI Water's Head of Customer Service, gives this advice: ''It is very unusual that someone claiming to be from NI Water will call to your door. However, if this does happen, simply call our customer helpline on 03457 440088 to confirm with our Customer Service team whether the person is in fact genuine. When you are calling to clarify the ID, our Customer Service staff will check:
- Serial Number
- Date of Issue
''Please don't be afraid to check the caller's ID. Genuine callers won't mind waiting while you do. NEVER allow anyone access to your property unless you are absolutely certain who they are.
''Following this simple advice is a sure-fire way to keep your home safe from unwelcome festive visitors who aren't coming bearing gifts, but bearing Christmas misery instead.''
The same message applies to telephone calls from people claiming to be from NI Water and asking for bank details. Do not give out this information over the telephone. Simply hang up and report the call to the police or to NI Water's customer helpline on the number above.