Extra protections now in place for residents as Quick Check 101 scheme enhanced in NI
Quick Check 101, an initiative to help protect residents against bogus callers, has been expanded to include more energy companies, providing additional protections for residents.
Under the scheme, residents can phone 101, the police non-emergency number, to check the identity of callers to their home who claim to represent an electricity or gas supplier, energy network company or NI Water.
Quick Check was previously re-launched by the Utility Regulator and the Police Service of Northern Ireland with the network companies in 2018, shortly followed by the gas suppliers joining the scheme. Now, due to its success and to increase protections for residents, electricity suppliers have also signed up to the scheme.
Kevin Shiels, interim Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator said:
“Bogus callers are people who call at your home pretending to be from an organisation in order to trick their way into your home and steal from you. Most people who call at your door are genuine, but unfortunately, some are not. As protecting the interests of consumers is at the heart of what the Utility Regulator does, we are delighted that the Quick Check scheme is being enhanced to help people feel safer in their homes.
“Expanding the Quick Check scheme is an important project within our Consumer Protection Programme, which is aimed at protecting and empowering domestic energy and water consumers in Northern Ireland. This side of our work is important as it targets areas that will improve services and produce positive outcomes for energy and water consumers, especially those who may find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.
“Collaboration is always at the heart of successful projects and I’d like to thank the energy and water companies, and also the Police Service of Northern Ireland, for their commitment to Quick Check and to protecting residents in Northern Ireland. This will be a welcome addition to the good work already being carried out by the companies to tackle bogus callers.”
Chief Inspector Philip Prendergast from the Police Service of Northern Ireland highlights the initiative:
“The Quick Check scheme provides reassurance to members of the public about callers to their door claiming to be from an energy or water company. Anyone who wishes to check the identity of someone who says they are calling on the pretext of inspecting gas, electricity or water supplies can call the police non-emergency 101 number to verify their identity.
“Your call will be answered by a trained police call handler who will take the details of the company which the caller claims to be working for. The call handler will then contact the utility supplier to determine whether the caller is genuine.
“I would encourage members of the public to follow our advice when dealing with unexpected visitors to their home.”
Kevin Shiels, interim Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator added:
“To highlight the enhanced scheme, we are also launching a new video providing further information and advice on Quick Check 101. The video, along with some useful tips, can be found on our websitewww.uregni.gov.uk/quick-check-101"
Calls to the Quick Check 101 number from landlines or mobile phones are free, regardless of the length of time you are on the phone or the time of the day you call.
Members of the public should dial 028 9065 0222 if they are unable to dial 101.Some mobile providers or contracts do not permit you to dial 101 – please check with your provider.