Published: 16:00, 03 July 2014
Industry watchdog's are warning people to be wary of bogus callers.
South East Water has joined in the call by Consumer Council for Water and published its top tips to help households outsmart distraction burglaries.
Nine bogus caller crimes are reported every day in England and Wales with thieves posing as utility company officials and tricking their way into peoples home before stealing their valuables.
Almost a fifth of the 3,177 incidents reported in 2013-14 involved people posing as staff from a water company which no longer exist.
The callers may appear to be wearing something resembling a company uniform, so South East Water are advising people to ask for identification before opening their door.
"Be assured that all of our samplers wear a company uniform and show their identity card without being asked” - Steve Andrews, South East Water
Steve Andrews, head of customer and commercial services at South East Water, said: “All water companies carry out tests on water collected at random from kitchen taps in customers’ homes and as these tests are random we are unable to make an appointment before visiting.
"Be assured that all of our samplers wear a company uniform and show their identity card without being asked."
Dame Yve Buckland, chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “If you have an elderly family member, friend or neighbour who is particularly vulnerable we’d urge you to share our simple advice with them to help protect them and give you and them peace of mind.
“This type of crime is very distressing for victims, as bogus callers exploit people’s vulnerability.”
For a full list of tips and safety advice visit: www.ccwater.org.uk
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