Three Cs to beat bogus callers

With the clocks going back this week, Scottish Water is advising communities throughout Ayrshire to use our 3 Cs to beat the Bogus Callers.

All too often these callous conmen prey, particularly on vulnerable and elderly but remembering a series of simple steps, however, could help to send them packing.

We are asking customers to follow our 3 Cs rule - CARD, CHECK and CALL.

Handy advice is available on the website

When householders receive a cold call from anyone claiming to be from Scottish Water they should not under any circumstances open the door without first checking the callers ID card or letter – this should be passed through the letter box for verification. This stops a bogus caller forcing their way in, even if the door is ajar, or on a chain.

Our employees will be more than happy to wait while you check their identity. We also support a number of police force across the country in their own campaigns.

Following Scottish Water’s simple 3 Cs advice could help communities across Argyll and Bute to beat the Bogus Caller: Card – You can ask callers to pass their ID card or letter through the letter box in order to verify their identity; Check - Check the identity card carefully: Is the photo on the card the same as the person at the door? Does the card contain the Scottish Water Customer Helpline number? Has the card been tampered with in any way?

If you are not confident that they are a genuine caller, then send them away!

Call - If you are in any doubt about the caller’s identity please call the Customer Helpline on 0845 601 8855. We advise customers to contact utility companies by using phone numbers found in telephone directories or the internet, but never from ID cards or letters presented, because these could be false. If you are still suspicious contact a neighbour or call the police.

Scottish Water’s Customer Service Delivery Director, Peter Farrer is advising customers to remain alert: “As our investment programme to deliver clearer, fresher drinking water and improve the natural environment across Scotland continues, Scottish Water workers are highly visible in towns and villages across the country. However, there are those who would take advantage of this essential work by posing as bogus water employees.”

On occasion when we need access to customer’s property we normally try to contact them in advance and arrange a suitable time. However, there may be occasions when we need to cold-call, but all our staff carry ID badges and are happy to display these on arrival. We never call at a customer’s home to collect money; or enter homes to check plumbing for leaks or to switch off the mains.

Mrs Jane McKenzie, Scottish Water’s Regional Communities Manager for Ayrshire, is offering customers this simple advice:

“All our employees carry identity cards, which they are more than happy to show when requested to do so. Householders shouldn’t let anyone into their home until they are sure of their identity. Check through the peep hole on your door; ask them to pass their ID card through the letter box. Our employees will be more than happy to wait while you check their identity.

“If you’re on your own and feel that you need more support then call a neighbour or a friend, and if you are at all worried about a caller, then please contact the police straight away.

“The advice is easy to remember - just 3 Cs – card, check and call.”

Water companies across the country are all working together to stamp out bogus caller crime.

Pamela Taylor, Chief Executive, Water UK is calling on communities to also play their part: “The whole water industry is behind the campaign to tackle this crime which targets the most vulnerable people. We are very pleased to support Scottish Water’s initiative in partnership with the police and other agencies to remove opportunities for bogus callers to strike.”

In a bid to help protect customers against Bogus Callers, Scottish Water is again offering an Anti Bogus Caller Pack which contains a personal electronic alarm, window sensor, door viewer, UV Marker Pen and guard bar.