Appeal from OFTEC to protect householders against ‘doorstep callers’ in Northern Ireland

Protect yourself from rogue doorstep callers is the appeal from OFTEC, representing the domestic oil and heating industry, during Scam Awareness Month (July 2016).

OFTEC has joined forces with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau national campaign as an official partner to help alert householders to the potential fraud and over-pricing tricks carried out by some unscrupulous callers.

The organisation recommends that when answering your door to any unexpected caller, to always take precautions and ‘Look for the Badge’ to prove the caller’s professional credentials.

David Blevings, OFTEC Ireland Manager commented, “We are delighted to be a Scam Awareness Month partner and raise awareness of the concerning levels for scams which are carried out on people in their own homes."

“With approximately 500,000 domestic consumers using oil as their main heating source, we want to make sure that householders in Northern Ireland remain vigilant and be on the lookout for unregistered or incompetent ‘cowboy’ installers."

“We run a competent person registration service which certifies technicians and provides them with identity badges with the OFTEC logo on it, to prove the technicians’ certification and membership. It’s always important to be confident that any professional who comes to your door is who they say they are and have all the statutory training, accreditation and registration to do the job in your home safely and fairly priced.”

OFTEC is reminding its registered technicians throughout the month of July to explain to their customers about their professional certification and why it was important to ask to see their technicians’ ID badge.

David Blevings stressed that as 85% of doorstep scams are carried out against people aged over 65 (according to National Trading Standards), it was recommended for elderly householders and their carers to know that OFTEC registered heating installers are competent to do the job.

“Our registered members in Northern Ireland are all extremely professional and will do a safe and sound job of fixing, repairing, moving or installing heating systems,” he added.

To be OFTEC registered, technicians have demonstrated their competence through independent testing, have been tested on-site and carry full insurance.

There are OFTEC registered technicians across Northern Ireland, which are recommended by the Consumer Council. Householders can check through the organisation’s website to find out if their installer is registered or to find a registered technician to price a job.

To find your nearest OFTEC registered technician, click here.