Beware of bogus callers

SCOTTISH Water is advising people to be aware of the risk of bogus callers as Christmas approaches.

With presents under trees and gift vouchers in envelopes, conmen often strike during the festive season and the utility is advising vigilance to reduce the risk of falling prey to them.

When householders receive a cold call from anyone claiming to be from Scottish Water they should not, under any circumstances, open the door without first checking the caller’s identification card or letter.

This should be passed through the letter box for verification. This stops a bogus caller forcing their way in, even if the door is ajar, or on a chain.

Employees will be more than happy to wait while you check their identity.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s customer service delivery director, said: “As our investment programme to deliver clearer, fresher drinking water and improve the natural environment across Scotland continues, Scottish Water workers are highly visible in towns and villages across the country. However, there are those, particularly at this time of year, who would take advantage of this essential work by posing as bogus water employees.

Badges

“On occasion, when we need access to a customer’s property, we normally try to contact them in advance and arrange a suitable time. However, there may be occasions when we need to cold-call, but all our staff carry identity badges and are happy to display these on arrival. We never call at a customer’s home to collect money or enter homes to check plumbing for leaks or to switch off the mains.

“All our employees carry identity cards, which they are more than happy to show when requested to do so. Householders shouldn’t let anyone into their home until they are sure of their identity.

“If you’re on your own and feel that you need more support then call a neighbour or a friend, and if you are at all worried about a caller, then please contact the police straight away.”

In a bid to help protect customers against Bogus Callers, Scottish Water is again offering an anti-bogus caller pack which contains a personal electronic alarm, window sensor, door viewer, UV marker pen and guard bar.

Mr Farrer said: “We have introduced this pack because of a spate of bogus caller incidents where criminals pose as Scottish Water employees, in order to gain access to a customer’s property.

“The packs have proven to be a great success in previous years and this year we’re again offering them out to vulnerable customers. The pack is designed to encourage all our customers to take some simple but effective steps to avoid falling victim to such a callous, calculated crime. “

Packs are available to the first 50 customers contacting Scottish Water by e-mailing customermarketing@scottishwater.co.uk or writing quoting Bogus Caller Pack, Customer Marketing, PO Box 8855 Edinburgh EH10 6YQ.

More advice is available at www.scottishwater.co.uk/boguscaller.