Police are asking householders to check the credentials of unknown callers to their door. The advice comes as the darker months approach and Police often seen a rise in the numbers of calls regarding suspicious cold callers.
Chief Superintendent Gerry McGrath explains: “Most callers are genuine however a small number of criminals take advantage of vulnerable people on their doorstep. Criminals will sometimes pose as staff from utility companies to gain access to your home or your details. Genuine staff will always carry clear identification and be happy to show it to you.
“We want to encourage people to report incidents where cold calling is witnessed or experienced. Police will take an active role in exploring the legitimacy or otherwise of such cold-callers. We are particularly interested in instances where people are approached at their home addresses by callers pertaining to be from utility services or companies. We should state that whilst not all cold-callers are disingenuous some may have sinister motives for their calling.
“Consider this, has the caller been to your neighbours’ addresses as well as yours? Has he caller shown a formal identification card? If the answer is ‘no’ to both these questions it might be likely that the caller is not legitimate.
“If you feel uncertain about any cold-caller please contact Police on 101 and report the matter. Police will review the incident and inform the caller of the legitimacy or otherwise of those involved.
“I’m also making a direct appeal to friends and loved ones of older people, or those who are vulnerable in our communities to please, take a few minutes and have a conversation with them about what they can do to help protect themselves and their homes.
“Do not grant access to anyone until your certain they are who they say they are. If you are in any doubt about someone at your door ring police on 101 or in an emergency 999. You can also use the QuickCheck service on 101 to confirm the identity of any utility staff, electricity, gas or water staff member who calls at your door.”
For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni.
If you have any concerns about unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040. You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.