Eastbourne residents warned to watch out for bogus callers at Christmas


Festive cheer could turn to festive fear if householders drop their guard to bogus callers, South East Water is warning.

The water company is urging customers to be wary of visitors claiming to be ‘from the water board’ who ask for access to their homes.

It wants homeowners to remain vigilant during the holiday season, when burglars may try to target the unsuspecting by asking to check the water or inspect the taps.

Steve George, customer services director at South East Water, said: “Unfortunately, Christmas can be a time when opportunist thieves take advantage, knowing there are new and valuable gifts in the home.

“These criminals can be very believable and persuasive and at this time of year we all want to think the best of people.

“Quite often, they use the phrase ‘water board’ which should immediately arouse suspicion because this is not a phrase that has been used for many years.

“You don’t have to be vulnerable to fall victim to a bogus caller, so we want to remind everyone of the simple steps to stay safe this Christmas.”

Tips to keep bogus callers out include:

· Attach your door chain before answering your door

· Always check the identification card of anyone claiming to be an employee from a utility

· Look at their clothing as all water company staff and contractors’ uniforms will have company logos

· Check for the South East Water van. Contractor vans will also have South East Water logos

· Set up a password on your account which all staff will use when knocking on the door

Steve added, “If members of our field teams or contractor, Clancy Docwra, need to enter your home, they will be happy to wait while you check their ID. Remember: if in doubt keep them out.”

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