Severn Trent is warning its customers to be extra vigilant after receiving reports from Derbyshire that callers from ‘The Water Board’ have gained entry to people’s homes.
This follows reports of burglaries in Ripley and Ilkeston, after individuals entered homes after saying they were from the water company and there to check the water supply.
Louise Moir, customer care manager at Severn Trent, said: “We can’t stress how important it is for customers to check the identity of the person knocking on the door. It doesn’t matter how convincing they look, if they work for us they’ll be carrying an identity card and you can check that they’re legitimate by ringing 0345 604 1655.
“We would also never try to get access to a customer’s house to fix pipes or to fit meters without making an appointment first and, even then, if anyone has any doubts, they should call us to double check.
“Our phone lines are manned 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and our employees fully expect customers to check their identity, either with a card or a call, and they’ll wait while you carry out the necessary checks.
“We also offer a doorstep password scheme where you can apply for a password in advance that any legitimate visitors from Severn Trent will have when they come to your home. You can sign up online at stwater.co.uk/doorstep-password or call us on 08457 500 500.”
In addition, Severn Trent says it would never ask customers to pay for a service on the doorstep or ask for bank details over the telephone.
Derbyshire Police Detective Chief Inspector Darren De’ath added: “You should always check the identification of anyone who calls at your door without warning. Ask to see an ID card and if they claim to work for a company or utility, call that firm to check they are who they claim to be. Genuine callers will be happy to wait outside while you do this.
“Don’t be tempted to leave your house with a caller, even if it’s just for a moment. If a cold caller is persistent or makes you feel uncomfortable, call a friend or relative you trust or contact the police.”