Friday, 12 December 2014

Be wary of Christmas cold callers

With Christmas just days away, Scottish Water is advising residents of the Three Towns to follow its ‘3 Cs Rule’ if a cold-caller arrives at the door claiming to be from the company.

Would-be thieves know many houses contain presents, money and gift vouchers at this time of year, which can lead to a pre-Christmas surge in bogus callers.  Scottish Water has developed the ‘3 Cs’ initiative – Card, Check, Call – in an effort to beat the callous conmen and conwomen.

Jane McKenzie , Scottish Water’s Regional Communities Team Manager, advised locals, “If you receive a cold call from anyone claiming to be from Scottish Water, a contractor, another utility or any other organisation, under no circumstances open the door without first checking the caller’s identity card or letter.  This should be passed through the letter box for verification, which stops a bogus caller forcing their way in, even if the door is ajar, or on a chain.”

The ‘3 Cs’ are: Card – ask callers to pass their ID card or letter through the letter box in order to verify their identity; Check - check the identity card carefully - is the photo on the card the same as the person at the door, does the card contain the Scottish Water Customer Helpline number, has the card been tampered with in any way? If you are not confident they are a genuine caller, then send them away; Call - if you are in any doubt about the caller's identity, call the Scottish Water Customer Helpline on 0845 601 8855. If you are still suspicious contact a neighbour or call the police.

Jane McKenzie noted, “All our employees carry identity cards, which they are more than happy to show when requested to do so.  Householders shouldn’t let anyone into their home until they are sure of their identity.  Check through the peep hole on your door; ask them to pass their ID card or letter through the letter box.  Our employees will be more than happy to wait while you check their identity.

“On occasion, when we need access to a customer’s property, we normally try to contact them in advance and arrange a suitable time.  However, there may be occasions when we need to cold-call, but all our employees carry ID badges and are happy to display these on arrival.  Our staff and contractors never call at a customer’s home to collect money.”

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