Consumer Council for Water
Give bogus callers the cold shoulder this winter
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown a 6% rise in domestic burglary and according to National Trading Standards, 85% of victims of doorstep scams or ‘bogus callers’ are aged 65 and over. With winter on its way and the nights drawing in, we’re sharing some of our top tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
- First and foremost, remember: if you’re not sure, don’t open the door! If you have extra security features on your door, such as a door chain or a spy hole, be sure to use them while you check the identity of the caller. All employees from reputable companies will carry identity cards, so always ask to see identification.
- If you’re still unsure, get extra reassurance by ringing the company they are claiming to be from to confirm who they say they are. Never use a telephone number provided by a doorstep caller – use the one listed in your local directory.If they are from a utility company, use the number provided on your bill or other official correspondence. Don’t be worried about making someone wait – genuine callers will be understanding and it’s better to take your time and be sure.
- Be mindful that it’s unlikely that a water company will send a representative for a home visit without an agreed appointment and in cases of a genuine emergency, members of emergency services are likely to be present as well.
- Are your other doors and windows locked? Before answering your front door, ensure your windows and back door are also locked as criminals can often work in pairs, with one taking on the role of distractor at the front door, while the other enters the property through the back.
- Utility companies now offer password protection schemes – this means any caller from one of these companies should be able to give a pre-arranged password as additional proof of identity. If you have mobility issues, water companies will also provide a knock and wait service. This means when you arrange a home visit, the representative will wait outside for a much longer period of time after knocking to ensure you have enough time to answer. If you would like to know more about this – or any other additional service offered by your water company – contact them directly and ask for more information about the Priority Services Register. Alternatively, visit our information page.
- Surprisingly, it is still quite commonly reported that distraction burglars will often use obsolete phrases – for example, claiming to be from the ‘Water Board’ – which no longer exists – in order to gain access to someone’s home. If you are suspicious about the identity of a caller, or their behaviour, call the police.
- Finally, remember you are perfectly within your rights to refuse entry or ask the person to leave at any time if you’re not sure that they are genuine. If it is a legitimate caller, they can always ring ahead or reschedule.
For information on ways to help protect yourself and your family from bogus callers or to learn more about the Priority Services Register, visit our website.
Latest News from
Consumer Council for Water
More help needed for low-income households ahead of water bill rise07/02/2019 09:20:00
More water companies should pour some of their own profits into schemes designed to help cash-strapped households with their water bills, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
STATEMENT: CCWater calls for more ambition from water companies01/02/2019 09:20:00
The Consumer Council for Water says there is still room for water companies to show more ambition in their service and investment plans for 2020 to 2025.
Complaints to Bristol Water remain cause for concern23/01/2019 12:25:00
Bristol Water has more work to do to reduce the number of complaints it receives from its customers, the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has warned.
Complaints to SES Water fall as watchdog seeks further improvement23/01/2019 09:20:00
SES Water has reported a fall in the number of calls made to it by customers to resolve problems after being challenged to improve its service by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
Switch on the savings this Big Energy Saving Week22/01/2019 16:20:00
CCFW are delighted to be supporting Big Energy Saving Week (BESW), which began yesterday. BESW is a national campaign to help people cut their energy bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.
No room for complacency as complaints to Southern Water fall22/01/2019 13:20:00
Complaints made against Southern Water have fallen by a third after the region’s supplier was challenged to improve its performance by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
Don’t let Christmas leftovers sink your celebrations19/12/2018 12:25:00
1 in 5 homes risking blocked drain or sewer by putting fat down the sink.
Watchdog examines long-term pressure on water supplies07/12/2018 09:20:00
The potential benefits and pitfalls of Wales sharing more of its water resources with England will be debated when the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) meets in Cardiff on Tuesday (11 December).