South East Water, which provides drinking water to homes locally, has joined in the call by the industry’s watchdog the Consumer Council for Water for people to protect against bogus callers.
The watchdog has just published its top tips to help households outsmart distraction burglars following the news that around nine bogus caller crimes are reported every day in England and Wales.
Thieves pose as water or other utility company officials to trick their way into people’s homes before stealing money or valuables.
In addition, an estimated 90 per cent of distraction burglaries going unreported because many vulnerable victims – particularly the elderly – feel too embarrassed or scared to report the crime.
Steve Andrews, from South East Water, said, “All water companies carry out tests on water collected at random from kitchen taps in customers’ homes and as these tests are random we are unable to make an appointment before visiting.
“Be assured that all of our samplers wear a company uniform and show their identity card without being asked.”
Bogus callers may appear to be wearing something resembling a water uniform so, before unlocking the door, CCWater and South East Water advise people to ask to see their identification and then call 0800 519 2222 – not using the number provided by the doorstep caller.
For added protection anyone can register a password beforehand by ringing 0333 000 0002.
They can then request the caller quotes this as proof they are from South East Water.
A comprehensive list of the top tips can be found at www.ccwater.org.uk and to see South East Water’s video visit www.southeastwater.co.uk/your-water/water-quality