A number of Mid Ulster residents have reported being scammed by a “bogus Sky salesman”, whose boxes stop working within weeks.
The con man, who’s around 5ft 8 with short black hair, brown eyes and aged between 25-30, is understood to source victims in different ways.
As well as referrals from new customers - yet to be let down - he operates on buy and sell sites and a ‘Sky box’ page on Facebook.
The black BMW driver has also been said to arrive uninvited on the doorstep, dressed in a suit, clip board in hand to sell an unbelievable package - which turns out to be just that.
Casting a wide net, we have had reports of victims from Dungannon to Dungiven, and he has also been working in many towns in between.
Three of his victims spoke to the Mail about their experiences in the hope their story will stop others falling into the same trap. But all of them feared reprisals as he knows where they live, and asked to remain anonymous.
‘He said he was out with Sky and could do me a better package for £295’
“He came to my door one evening,” one said, “he was suited and booted and said he was out with Sky and could do me a better package for £295 and that if I could do a one-off payment on Paypal and recommend a couple of my friends I could get it for £195.”
Another customer, whom the con man contacted via such a recommendation, said: “He said he worked on behalf of Sky so I let him come to my house. He fitted me up a box and I gave him £195.
“Everything was all rosy for about two weeks and the next thing it crashed. So I sent a message to say ‘will you come back and fix it? There’s a problem’, he wasn’t having any of it.”
These tales could be the tip of the iceberg, as the trio knew of another 10 people who have fallen fowl of this man - but none told police.
When asked why, one explained how he threatened them, saying: “You don’t know what organisation I work for.”
Another said: “For fear the police could charge me... he said to me on Facebook, you report away to the police if you want - they’ll just do you for defrauding Sky.”
All three were unable to get their ‘Sky box’ fixed and none got their money back.
“I think the money’s gone - let’s be realistic about it,” one customer said.
“This fella is not going to stop.”
Sky to investigate
Both the PSNI and Sky said they were unaware of the “bogus Sky salesman” reportedly operating in Mid Ulster and South Derry, but since being notified by the Mail, Sky has indicated that they will be investigating this case and will work with police to take action if required.
They told the Mail: “We investigate reports of fraudulent activity concerning Sky.
“Customers who are worried about bogus salesmen should contact Action Fraud.”
Sky said it has not been using door-to-door sales men since June 2014, so if someone approaches your home offering a deal on their products you should contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk
Consumers can buy official Sky products to watch Sky TV from Sky.com/Shop or at one of only four official providers throughout Northern Ireland. Check online for details.