Residents warned of bogus callers in warmer weather

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Keep cool in the heat but keep a look out for bogus callers too – that’s the message from South East Water during the sunny weather.

Criminals who claim to be from a water company can use spells of hot weather to get into victims’ homes easily while doors and windows are open.

The thieves often work in pairs, so as one distracts the homeowner at one entrance, another sneaks in elsewhere.

As the weather has now warmed up, South East Water is warning residents, especially elderly people to watch out for bogus callers.

A spokesperson from the water firm said, “The advice is to check the identity of callers claiming to be from a water company and never let anyone inside unless certain they are genuine.

“Be vigilant as to who may be on your property and 
secure other entrances
 before answering the front door.

“Many bogus caller crimes are committed by criminals pretending to be from the water board or who claim to be a water inspector.

“It is therefore important customers know what to do to check if people knocking on their doors are water company staff.

“Sometimes water company staff do have to make unplanned visits to customers’ properties, but will always be happy to wait while their credentials are checked.

“ Employees will always show their photographic identification cards before asking to be let in.”

South East Water has this week, as the town was sweltering in a heat wave, offered some tips for keeping your home and belonging safe from bogus callers.

The spokesperson said, “Make sure your back door is always locked before going to the front door.

“If you have a door chain, put it on before you open the door.

“Check to see who is at the door by looking through a window or spy hole.

“Water company staff always wear a uniform with the company name on it and South East Water staff always carry an identity card with their photograph, name, company logo and telephone number on it.

“Look out on the street for the South East Water logo on van the person arrived in.

“Staff will always wait while customers check who they are by telephoning the bogus caller telephone line.”

The bogus caller telephone line is open to residents who have concerns and can confirm whether a caller is genuine.

South East Water advises residents to phone the police if they are in any doubt of feel they may be at risk of becoming a victim of crime .

The spokesperson added, “It is better to be safe than sorry.”

The bogus caller telephone line can be contacted on 0333 000 2244 to check the identity of a caller.

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