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Be careful of rogue callers, says Thames Water

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 March 2019

Thames Water has warned customers to be on the lookout for scam callers. Photo: Thames Water

Thames Water has warned customers to be on the lookout for scam callers. Photo: Thames Water

Archant

Thames Water is warning people in Bexley to be on their guard against cold callers looking to scam them into thinking they are genuine water company workers.

A spate of rogue callers has been highlighted recently by local police.

They said its customers and everyone else should understand “If you are unsure, don’t open your door” and now has a password system in place.

Thames Water said it is encouraging customers to sign up to its doorstep password scheme following police reports of bogus calls in Bexley.

The water company is reminding people not to let callers into their home without seeing proper identification from anyone claiming to work for Thames Water or even “the water board”.

Stuart Orchard, Thames Water’s counter-fraud manager, said: “Our engineers wear clear identification badges.

“Our customers’ safety is our top priority, and registering for the doorstep password scheme means they can set up a personal password that will be given by any Thames Water employee that visits their property.

“It’s also important to note we’d never ask for any sort of cash payment from a customer before carrying out work, so we ask customers to let us know about any suspicious callers.”

It has easy steps to stay safe. The company said if a bogus caller attempts to, or manages to get into your home, inform the police immediately; closely examine the caller’s identity card; avoid keeping large amounts of money at home; beware of anyone claiming to be from ‘the water board’ which no longer exists; did they make an appointment as it is rare for water company employees to need access to the inside; ensure the caller is genuine by ringing the relevant water company to check their identity as a genuine caller will not mind waiting; ensure doors are locked at all times; and keep a door chain on while checking identity. Even speak to them through a locked door – accept their identity card through your letterbox for verification.

Anyone who suspects a bogus caller can call Thames Water’s helpline 0800 316 9800 to verify identity.

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