As Hallowe’en, the season of trick and treat, rolls round, NI Water is calling on all our customers to be extra vigilant and beware of bogus callers, following a number of recent incidents involving older or vulnerable customers and criminals coming to their door claiming to be from the company.
The general pattern of events is for criminals posing as agency staff seeking to gain entry to check the water supply in the customer’s property, often resulting in serious distress for the customers involved. There have also been reports of suspicious vans bearing company branding.
If a caller comes to your door claiming to be from NI Water, Water Service or the Water Board, 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. 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, call our customer helpline on 03457 440 088.
Liam Mulholland, Head of Customer Services at NI Water, gives this advice: “It is very unusual that someone claiming to be from NI Water will call to your door. If, however, this does happen, simply call our customer helpline on 03457 440 088 to confirm with staff whether the person is in fact genuine. When you are phoning to clarify the ID, our Customer Service staff will check:
- Serial number
- Date of issue
“Don’t be afraid to check the 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 Hallowe’en visitors this year who are bringing plenty of tricks but nothing in the way of treats.’’
The same message applies to telephone calls from people claiming to be from NI Water and asking for bank details. Do not give this information out over the telephone. Simply hang up and report the call to the police or NI Water customer service helpline.