More than half of bogus caller crimes committed in the UK are carried out by criminals pretending to be from a water company – and Welsh Water is warning the public to beware of the conmen who prey on elderly and vulnerable people.
The company and the whole of the UK water industry have joined forces with police and government in a campaign to raise awareness of the problem, in which criminals trick their way into people’s homes to steal.
Statistics show that around 35 bogus caller crimes are committed every day, but it is believed that this might only be 10% of the total number of incidents that actually take place as victims are often too embarrassed to come forward.
The knock knock! who’s there? be stranger aware! campaign, which is supported by the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Water UK and the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) aims to raise national awareness, to all age groups to help prevent this distressing crime.
Welsh Water’s Suzanne Evans said, “Callous criminals target vulnerable people and often rob them of all the money they have. But there are things that can be done to stop them in their tracks.
If you are unsure about the identity of a person claiming to be from Welsh Water company, don’t let them into your home. Customers can ring Welsh Water on 0800 281 141 to confirm the caller’s identity and genuine employees will not mind waiting while these checks are carried out. Password schemes also give customers further protection and peace of mind – anyone needing to gain access into a customer’s home will know and use the password. We urge all customers to be vigilant – and for people to advise those they may feel could be vulnerable.”
Diane McCrea of CCWater Wales said, “People are entirely within their rights to turn away any unwanted visitor at any time, especially if they are not happy with the information presented. No water company will ever insist on entry to your home.”