Utility scam warning issued to public
Posted: 04 May, 2023
Members of the public have been advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant against bogus callers following confirmation that a natural gas meter was tampered with at a home within the SGN Natural Gas network area recently.
Only qualified engineers from a gas network company are permitted to carry out work on agas meter. Gas meters are extremely safe and have been relied upon for many years, however tampering with a gas meter can be extremely dangerous, and on rare occasions, carry the risk of explosion with the potential to cause fatalities. It is vital that anyone working at utility apparatus is legitimately trained to do so and that their identification can be appropriately verified.
Mark Davidson, Head of Engineering at SGN Natural Gas confirmed the incident. He explained: “Following a routine check of natural gas meters throughout our network area, we were informed that one of our meters had been tampered with. This is an unfortunate and extremely dangerous matter, as anyone working on a natural gas meter who is not affiliated with the distribution company or supplier is potentially putting lives at risk.”
The Quick Check 101 Scheme exists to provide reassurance to members of the public about callers to their door claiming to be from a utility company. The Scheme is operated by the PSNI in collaboration with the Utility Regulator and five energy network companies, SGN Natural Gas, firmus energy distribution, Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, Northern Ireland Water and Phoenix Energy Ltd.
Anyone who wishes to check the identity of someone who claims to be calling on the pretext of gas, electricity or water supplies can phone the 101 number to verify their identity.
Mr Davidson concluded: “Legitimate callers will always have proof of identity clearly displayed. Anyone with suspicions should ask for information related to their identification and for the caller to wait outside until they have been verified either via the 101 number or the Gas Safe Register. Do not give anyone access to your property until you are sure they are genuine.”