Yorkshire Water is urging people to look out for friends, family and neighbours who could be vulnerable to bogus callers now the nights are getting darker.
And the water company is encouraging people to sign up to its free password scheme which gives added protection and peace of mind that callers are genuine.
Matt Thompson of Yorkshire Water said: “We know that unscrupulous people often pretend to be from Yorkshire Water or ‘the water board’ and use this as an excuse to get into people’s homes. Joining our password scheme will ensure that conmen are easier to spot.
“It’s simple and free to sign up and set a password of your choice which any genuine Yorkshire Water employee or contractor will have access to.
“Even if you don’t have a password, our people will never mind being challenged about their authenticity and will happily wait while you call us to check.”
The password scheme works by enabling customers to register an agreed personal password with the company through a simple phonecall. Then, whenever they receive a phonecall or a visit to their property by someone claiming to be from Yorkshire Water, they should always ask for this password.
If the caller cannot provide them with their password, they should not under any circumstances let them into their property or continue with the phonecall.
And a customer is given the correct password but still has concerns about the identity of the caller, they can verify their identity simply by contacting the company on 0800 1 38 78 78. Genuine Yorkshire Water employees won’t mind waiting whilst their details are fully checked.
The reminder to customers to be on their guard follows a number of recent incidents across Yorkshire where bogus callers have attempted to enter people’s properties by claiming they are from the company.
To sign up to Yorkshire Water’s doorstep password scheme, simply contact the company on 0845 1 24 24 24. For more information and advice on how to prevent yourself from falling victim to bogus callers, visit yorkshirewater.com/boguscallers.
To help further reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this crime, remember the following four steps:
LOCK all doors - even when you are at home
STOP before you open the door, ask them who they are
CHAIN - always use a door chain or spy hole
NOT sure who they are? Don’t open the door!
ALWAYS ask the caller for their identification, and check it, before letting them in. Use the phone number in the phone book, not the one on their identity card