Customers urged to check ID
Tuesday 17th March 2020 12:00
Thames Water is urging customers to ask any callers at their homes for proper identification after a suspected bogus call in St Albans.
The water company is reminding people that anyone claiming to work for Thames Water or the “water board” will be able to confirm their identity with a name tag or, if required, phone call.
The notice comes after a customer in St Albans reported that a man in a Thames Water-branded van and uniform attempted to access a manhole cover on their property.
The resident refused and informed Thames Water and Hertfordshire Police of the incident, with the company later establishing that there were no planned works in the area and the van had been hired locally with the company’s branding then added to it.
Stuart Orchard, Thames Water’s counter fraud manager, said: “Our engineers wear clear identification badges but our message is simple: ‘if you're unsure, don't open your door’.
“Our customers’ safety is our top priority and registering for the doorstep password scheme means they can set up a personal password that will be given by any Thames Water employee that visits their property.
“It’s also important to note we’d never ask for any sort of cash payment from a customer before carrying out work, so we ask customers to let us know about any suspicious callers.”
Anyone who suspects a bogus caller can call Thames Water’s helpline on 0800 316 9800 to verify their identity.
Taking the following steps will also help:
- If a bogus caller attempts to, or manages to get into your home, inform the police immediately.
- Examine the caller’s identity card.
- Beware of anyone claiming to be from ‘the water board’ which no longer exists.
- Are you expecting anyone? It’s rare for water company employees to need to get into your home without arranging it with you first.
- Make sure your caller is genuine – ring your relevant water company to check their identity. A genuine caller will not mind waiting.
- Make sure your front and back doors are locked at all times.
- Use your door chain while checking the caller’s identity. Speak to them through a locked door – accept their identity card through your letterbox.
Find out how to sign up for the doorstep password scheme on our Bogus callers page.