A password system is helping to crack down on bogus callers in North Yorkshire.
Since launching its doorstep password scheme, Yorkshire Water has seen more than seven thousand customers sign-up to it, with the company urging those who haven’t yet to take advantage of this cost free way to help ensure they don’t fall victim to bogus callers.
The scheme works by enabling customers to register an agreed personal password with the company, through a simple phonecall. Then, whenever they receive a phonecall or a visit to their property by someone claiming to be from Yorkshire Water, they should always ask for this password. If the caller cannot provide them with their password, they should not, under any circumstances, let them into their property or continue with the phonecall.
And if, upon receiving the correct password, they still have concerns about the identity of the caller, they can verify their identity simply by contacting the company on 0845 1 24 24 24. Genuine Yorkshire Water employees won’t mind waiting whilst their details are fully checked.
The reminder to customers to be on their guard follows a number of recent incidents in the area where bogus callers have attempted, on occasion successfully, to enter people’s properties by claiming they are from the company, in order to steal their possessions and money.
Elderly and vulnerable customers are often targeted with one such incident recently occurring in Thirsk in September when a man tricked an 81 year old woman to go into her rear garden while his accomplices, dressed as police officers, burgled her house.
We’re determined to do everything we can to protect our customers from the evil scourge of bogus callers operating in Yorkshire.
Unfortunately, we’re still seeing our customers falling prey to callous conmen who claim to be from Yorkshire Water or the ‘water board’ in order to gain entry into people’s properties and steal their possessions and money.
That’s why we’re more keen than ever that all of our customers by signing up to our free doorstep password scheme. It’s really easy to do and it just serves as another line of defence to help ensure you don’t fall victim to evil conmen.
The company’s initiative has been applauded by police forces across Yorkshire who regularly deal with the victims of such crimes.
Temporary Detective Superintendent Steve Smith, of North Yorkshire Police, said:
We fully support Yorkshire Water’s Doorstep Password Scheme to help tackle the scourge of bogus callers.
Distraction burglary is one of the most cowardly and distressing crimes we have to deal with. Those who commit these offences will continue to receive the attention they deserve from the police. We continue to work hard locally, regionally and nationally to bring them to court.
I am pleased to acknowledge the opportunity to work with Yorkshire Water and hope this will advance the work done by a raft of organisations, including the police, to keep people safe. The best place for these offenders is prison.
To sign up to Yorkshire Water’s doorstep password scheme, simply contact the company on 0845 1 24 24 24. For more information and advice on how to prevent yourself from falling victim to bogus callers, visit yorkshirewater.com/boguscallers
To help further reduce the risk of becoming a victim of this crime, remember the following four steps:
· LOCK all doors – even when you are at home
· STOP before you open the door, ask them who they are
· CHAIN- always use a door chain or spy hole
· NOT sure who they are? Don’t open the door!
ALWAYS ask the caller for their identification, and check it, before letting them in. Use the phone number in the phone book, not the one on their identity card.