IN the run up to the digital switching over of television channels from analogue signal to digital, police are warning the public of the possibility of bogus callers claiming to be from companies helping you to retune your TV sets.
Police have been in contact with the organisers of the Switchover Help Scheme who say they do not intend sending any technicians out to homes unless an appointment is arranged with them.
With time running out until the Digital Switch-over, it is hoped that the elderly in particular will pay heed to the warnings and advice issued by the PSNI.
In the interests of security, organisers of the Digital Switch-over can also arrange a password with the homeowner so that they will know the technician calling with them is genuine. Police say they have also been assured that representatives from Digital UK will not call at homes either.
One local care worker hailed the warning as “timely”.
She told the Ballymoney Times that she personally arranged for TV technicians to visit the home of the elderly gentleman for whom she cares.
“We made absolutely sure that he would know exactly when they would be coming and what they were there to do,” she said.
“For many elderly people, this will be quite worrying so this warning from the police is very timely.”
Police would remind householders that they can use the Quick Check scheme, which is handled by Fold Telecare if they are unsure of callers to their home.
The Quick Check Freephone scheme (0800 013 22 90) is a 24-hour Freephone service which enables householders to challenge and independently verify the identity of anyone calling at their door.
The majority of utility companies operating in Northern Ireland have signed up to and actively endorse the Quick Check scheme, which was first launched in 2008.
If you receive an unannounced caller to your home the following steps can help to keep your property secure:
Before you answer the door, make sure your back door is locked.
If you have a door chain, remember to use it before you open the door.
Ask the caller for their identification and check it carefully.
Ask them to wait outside and close the door - genuine callers will not mind.
Ring Quick Check on freephone 0800 013 22 90. Your call will be answered personally and promptly by a trained operator. They will check with the company on your behalf, that the person at your door is genuine. If they are not or they think that there is something suspicious, they will contact the police immediately.
Do not let anyone into your home until you are satisfied as to who they are.
Police recommend that you save the Quick Check number - 0800 013 22 90 - and the police non-emergency number - 0845 600 8000 - on your speed dial at home so that both are easily dialled if you need to make contact