News

Man poses as Essential Energy worker to enter property

WHEN a man dressed in an Essential Energy shirt stopped at Southgate resident Peggy Downes' gate in a white van, she was wary.

Representatives of the electricity company had carried out work on her property the week before, using a master key to enter through the padlocked gate, and their vehicles didn't look much like the one before her.

When he jumped the side gate and approached her, red flags started to pop up.

"He tried to open it and realised he couldn't get through, so jumped the side fence and started walking up to the house," she said.

"I walked down to meet him and he said he was a contractor with Country Energy and had come to replace the power box at the next house over. Country Energy no longer exists so that was the second thing that made me click."

Ms Downes pressed him for identification and the man in crumpled black cargo pants and a pair of sandshoes replied it was in his car, before "sticking his finger up" at her and reversing down the road.

"When I posted it on the Clarence Valley Buy Swap Sell Facebook page, a lady said that guy was in her yard the other day, and so many people said that a person was trying to sell them a dodgy stereo in South Grafton the night before," she said.

Ms Downes said the incident had left her feeling rattled, and as she was unsure of his motives, could have ended up worse had she not been alert.

"I didn't sleep last night at all," she said.

"If I was someone else, god knows what could have happened."

Coffs/Clarence acting crime manager Inspector Peter O'Reilly said investigations into the matter, which took place at around 8.15am on Thursday, were ongoing and encouraged community members to phone police if something similar happened to them.

"It's a good reminder for the public to check credentials -whether it be someone showing up in person or over the phone, people need to be vigilant there's a lot of scammers out there," he said.

"We rely on the community to provide us with information."

Essential Energy North Coast regional manager Brendon Neyland said all Essential Energy representatives carried company identification documents that included the person's name and photograph, which customers can request to view at any time.

"Seeking confirmation of someone's identity provides customers' with a level of comfort that they are dealing with someone authorised to do the job," Mr Neyland said.

"We encourage customers to ask to see identification before allowing anyone to access their property. If the representative will not provide this, ask them to leave."

Topics:  editors picks, essential energy, grafton, scam




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Stevens stumps doctors with early return from injury

STUMPED: South Grafton Rebels’ captain courageous Grant Stevens is expected to make an early return from a shoulder and sternum injury this Sunday.

Skipper back in red and white afterr shoulder injury

Ghosts get return to Grafton

TOUGH GOING: Grafton Ghosts’ Rob Howard, Jake Barnett and Daniel Lavender wrestle a Comet to the ground during a recent win.

Home side on finals charge ready for hapless Sea Eagles

2016 Go Art prize winners

The junior winner Brayden Jamieson, from McAuley Catholic College with his winning painting, beach inspired landscape.

All the placegetters from art competition

Latest deals and offers

Ulmarra Public School celebrates 125 years

CELEBRATION: Isabella Watts, Sophie Watts, Jean Kratz and Emily Watts cutting the cake at Ulmarra Public School's 125th birthday celebrations on Friday, June 24.

Ulmarra Public School celebrates 125 years

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.

Iconic North Coast hotel could sell for $80 million

ON THE MARKET: The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay.

Million-dollar views, good income, beer - what more could you want?