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Don’t let the fraudsters fool you

  • 15th December 2021
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Be extra vigilant this Christmas as bogus callers and online fraudsters look to take advantage is the warning from South East Water.

The company, which serves 2.2 million customers in parts Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, is urging customers not to let their guard down over the festive season and to remain wary of visitors claiming to be ‘from the water board’ as well as being alert to online scams.

Tanya Sephton, Customer Services Director at South East Water, said: “When callers use the phrase ‘water board’ it is often a big giveaway as this is not a term legitimate water companies have used for many, many years.

“Unfortunately, these criminals can be very believable and persuasive and use our good nature this time of year.

“If you have even the slightest bit of doubt as to whether the person at your door is one of our staff or not we urge you to contact us to check.

“With new and valuable gifts being in many homes at this time of year it is better to be safe than sorry.”

Tanya continued: “In addition, customers should be wary of unsolicited telephone calls or emails claiming to be from South East Water. “

“Fraudsters are looking to gain access to accounts and will use many techniques – normally over the telephone but increasingly via email – to trick people into handing over their details.

“Please be mindful of any unsolicited emails or telephone calls claiming to be from South East Water, and don’t open the attachments unless you are sure you know who the email is coming from.

“They can target anyone and you don’t have to be vulnerable to fall victim to a bogus caller. We want to remind everyone to stay safe this Christmas and to call us if you are unsure.”

Tips to stay safe this Christmas include:

In the home.

  • Register for a South East Water security password and our Priority Services Register on 0333 000 1122
  • Make sure the back door is always locked before going to the front door
  • Put on the door chain if there is one before opening the door
  • Check to see who is at the door by looking through a window or spy hole
  • Look for an identity card, a uniform and a liveried van
  • Check the person’s identity via our bogus caller telephone line on 0333 000 2244
  • If still suspicious telephone the police - better to be safe than sorry

Online.

  • Delete suspicious emails immediately
  • Install a reputable anti-virus product and keep it up to date
  • Ensure all of your devices' operating systems are updated as and when the provider issues updates
  • Never reveal usernames or passwords to others
  • Use a different password for every online account you have.
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