Every day, bogus caller crimes are committed in England and Wales, with the elderly, vulnerable, and those who live alone being the most common targets. They frequently pose as representatives of the ‘Water Board’ or ‘Water Company’ in order to gain access to a person’s home and attempt to steal from them. They can be very convincing, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Tips to protect yourself against bogus callers
- Always keep your doors and windows locked and secure. To answer the door, only use the door chain.
- Ask to see the caller’s identification. He or she should be able to show you through the letter box or a crack in the door. You have every right to close the door and ask the caller to wait outside while you check the caller’s identity by calling the company the caller claims to represent. Keep this phone number in your contact list at all times, and never call the number they give you.
- If you’re not sure if the caller is genuine, you have the right to refuse entry or ask them to leave at any time. If the visit is legitimate, they can call ahead or reschedule.
- If the visitor insists on immediate access before you’ve completed the necessary checks, call 999 and ask for the police.
- Make sure you or someone you care about has all of the necessary contact information on hand in case someone unexpectedly comes knocking.
If you want extra protection against bogus callers you can sign up for a password by contacting your water company. Simply let the company know the password you would like them to use if they visit you. If the person at your door gives you the wrong password or does not know your password, do not let them in.
All water companies provide special services such as Braille, talking, or large print bills, and if you meet certain criteria, the water company can arrange for bottled water to be delivered to your door if your water supply is disrupted. Check to see if you or someone you know is eligible for priority services, or contact your water company for more information.