Bogus callers in utilities scam

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Residents are being asked to be extra vigilant after bogus officals were reported operating in Rastrick.

PC Chris Madden, from the Calderdale Valley Neighbourhood Police Team, told residents at Rastrick ward forum that they had received calls about people in the area impersonating workers from the water and gas boards.

He said that on both occasions, the bogus officials had gained entry into the homes of vulnerable residents.

West Yorkshire Police is currently working with officers from the utility companies to combat the problem.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “We are working closely with the police to assist them with their inquiries.

“But would like to remind all homeowners that all genuine Yorkshire Water employees carry identification, and on the very rare occasions the company visits customers’ properties, this identification can and should always be verified by calling 0800 1387878. While making this call, customers should close their door on the caller. Genuine callers will have no issue waiting while their credentials are verified.”

To help crack down on the scourge of bogus callers, the company also has a customer password system. The scheme works by enabling customers to register an agreed personal password with the company, through a simple phone call. Then, whenever customers receive a phone call 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 phone call.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police, speaking in support of Yorkshire Water, said: “We look into every allegation of bogus callers and take them extremely seriously. We would urge anyone with information to contact police on 101 and would also appeal to the public not to let unexpected callers into their homes.

“Genuine works representing service companies will carry identification with them, or will be happy to let you check their credentials with their office while they wait. Do not feel like you have to invite them in to your house.”

Anyone who has concerns should contact police via 101.