NI Water is calling on customers in the Coleraine area to be extra vigilant and beware of bogus callers following a number of bogus telephone calls over the weekend falsely informing customers that their water supply had been contaminated.
The general pattern of events is for criminals posing as NI Water staff seeking to gain entry to check the water supply in the customer’s property, often resulting in serious distress for the customers involved. However, in this instance, customers were phoned and advised their water was not safe to drink.
Des Nevin, NI Water’s Head of Customer Service Centre, gives this advice: In the very unlikely event that there is an issue with the quality of water we provide, NI Water will notify you via an official information leaflet followed by a letter detailing the issue, these will both be delivered to your address. We want our customers to be aware that NI Water will NEVER telephone your home with this information unless you are on our customer care register.
“In this case, both customers took the initiative to call NI Water about the matter and our call centre advisors were able to reassure them that their water supply was not contaminated and safe to drink. Some of our vulnerable customers however, might not have taken this step and could have spent hours not using their water supply.
“If someone does telephone your home with this information, you can check if they are genuine by calling our Waterline number on 03457 440088. NI Water will NEVER ask you for bank details, do not give this information out, simply hang up and call Waterline or the PSNI to report it.”
“Similarly, 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 – all NI Water staff carry ID cards as they go about their business. This will have a photograph of the person carrying it and include details such as their name, a unique serial number and our distinctive NI Water logo. Also attach your door chain, if you have one; if not, ask the caller to hold the ID card 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, don’t hesitate to contact Waterline on 03457 440088 to get some clarity. Please don’t be afraid to check a caller’s ID; genuine callers from NI Water won’t mind waiting while you do. Never allow anyone into your home unless you are certain that they are who they say they are.
“When you are contacting NI Water to clarify the identity of anyone claiming to represent us at your door, our customer service team will check:
ID card serial number
ID card date of issue