Northumbrian Water is advising residents to be vigilant following a police warning about bogus callers operating in the North East.
Three New Year’s Day incidents, highlighted by South Tyneside Police, saw a man claiming he had seen a burst water pipe and needed to check the occupants’ water supply.
More than 50% of bogus callers – people who pretend to be someone they are not in order to enter and steal from a home – claim to be from a water company, or “the water board”.
Kathryn Waugh, Customer Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “All of our employees carry official ID cards. We would advise anyone who receives a visit from someone claiming to be from a water company to ask to see ID and to examine it closely, whether the call is expected or not.
“If people are in any doubt, they should not let the visitor in. Our employees will not mind if they are asked to wait outside while the occupant checks their identification with ourselves. If there are any serious concerns, residents should phone us or the police immediately.”
Anybody with concerns can call Northumbrian Water on 0345 717 1100 or the police on 999.
Other recommended precautions include:
• Make sure front and back doors are locked at all times.
• Look to see if there is a vehicle nearby that carries the Northumbrian Water logo.
• Use a door chain or speak to the caller through a locked door while confirming their identity. Ask them to pass their identity card through the letterbox.
• If the caller claims to be from the ‘water board’, this is not a term that is in use any longer, so ask to see their identity card and leave them outside until their credentials have been verified.
• Register a password with Northumbrian Water. This can be done at https://www.nwl.co.uk/your-home/your-services/Register.aspx or by calling 0345 7171100.
For further media information, contact Paul White on 0191 3015325.
Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customer in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.
In the most recent survey by the Consumer Council for Water, Northumbrian Water was named the UK’s most trusted water company by its customers. 2016 also saw Northumbrian Water named the world’s most ethical water company for the sixth successive year.
Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5FJ. Telephone 0345 6047468. Website: www.nwl.co.uk