Bogus workmen who claim to represent Yorkshire Water are stealing from vulnerable residents in Bradford.
The fraudsters pretend to be from the utility firm to trick their way into elderly people’s homes.
Scams include claiming to need to check the water supply and meter reading.
Now, Bradford-based Yorkshire Water has joined forces with West Yorkshire Police to warn residents to be on their guard.
A Yorkshire Water spokesman said: “We 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, the customer should close their door on the caller. Genuine callers will have no issue waiting while their credentials are verified.”
In one incident in April, a man stole cash from an elderly woman’s home in Bradford after claiming he was working on a neighbouring house and needed to check her water supply.
Another incident happened in Undercliffe on May 3, when two men told an elderly woman that they were there to read the water meter. While one of the men went into the kitchen, the other stole a handbag.
Detective Inspector Paul Strafford said: “Bogus callers often claim to be calling on behalf of the gas board or water board. They will try various things to get into a house and will often target elderly people.
“Genuine workers representing service companies will carry identification with them, or will be happy to let you check their credentials. Do not feel like you have to invite them into your house.
“If people have concerns about someone who turns up at their door, we would advise them to call the police on 101.”
Yorkshire Water has a doorstep password scheme. Genuine employees will know the password when they visit a customer’s house. To sign up to the scheme ring 0845 1242424.
For details on avoiding bogus callers, visit yorkshirewater.com/boguscallers.
Two men will appear at Leeds Magistrates Court on June 9 charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and blackmail.