Dealing with unfamiliar or bogus callers

The police have received numerous reports of cold callers in the North West recently. What should you do if someone you don’t know calls at your home? Always check and make sure they claim to be before letting them or anyone into your house.

What you should do

Bogus callers may pretend to be from utility suppliers (like water, gas, electricity or phone/broadband provider) and other reputable organisations, in order to get into your house. Once in they will steal money and other valuables.

Rogue traders will try and talk you into paying for the services they are offering. They will often be unqualified to carry out these services and will either do a poor job or may take the payment and not do the job at all.

Being targeted in this way can be very upsetting and have a profound effect on anyone who has been targeted.

You should follow this advice when dealing with unexpected visitors:

  • before answering the front door, make sure the back door is locked
  • if there is a door chain, remember to use it before opening the door
  • always ask for proof of identity and ask them to wait outside - genuine callers will be only too happy to provide this information and to wait outside the property until it is verified
  • don't give let anyone into your house until you are sure they are genuine
  • never leave doors unlocked and do not to leave keys in an unsafe place (such as under doormats or flower pots)

If the caller to your door says that they are from one of the energy network companies (Firmus Energy distribution, NI Electricity Networks, NI Water, Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd and SGN Natural Gas) then phone 'Quick Check' on 101. 

The call will be answered personally and promptly by a trained police call handler.  They will check with the company that the person at your door is genuine.  If they are not, or they think that there is something suspicious, the operator will be able send the police to you.

Keep money and valuables safe

You should:

  • not keep large sums of money at home
  • not leave valuables or items of great sentimental value where they could be easily taken
  • mark property, and ideally keep photographic and detailed records of valuables
  • burn or shred documents containing personal details which are no longer needed 
  • keep credit cards safe and never have the PIN written down

If you notice anything out of the ordinary or suspicious, phone the police on 101.

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