Wem resident targeted by fraudster warns of water meter 'flow test' scam

Reporter:

Barrie White

Severn Trent is warning its customers to be extra vigilant after a Wem resident told the Whitchurch Herald that callers are trying to gain entry to homes by claiming to be from the water company.

Declan Whitfield, from Blakes Meadow, Wem, contacted the Herald after receiving a slip of paper through his letterbox last week.

Louise Moir, customer care manager at Severn Trent, said the company wants customers to know the identity of the person knocking on the door.

“It doesn’t matter how convincing they look,” she said. “If they work for us they’ll be carrying an identity card and you can check they’re legitimate by telephoning us on 0345 604 1655.

“We’d also never try to get access to a customer’s house to fix pipes or to fit meters without making an appointment first.

“Even then, if anyone has any doubts, they should call us to double check.

“Our phone lines are manned
24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our employees fully expect customers to check their identity, either with a card or a call.

“They will always be happy to wait while you carry out the necessary checks.

“We also offer a doorstep password scheme where homeowners can apply for a password in advance which any legitimate visitors from Severn Trent will be aware of and can supply when they visit.

“People can sign up online at stwater.co.uk/doorstep-password or call us on 08457 500 500.”

Mr Whitfield said he received the slip through the door on Wednesday, July 12.

He said: “I believed it was from Severn Trent asking to gain access to my household to test whether my water meter was actually connected to my property.”

The slip claimed an issue with the meter had been brought to the water company’s attention either by a member of public or a Severn Trent representative.

But Mr Whitfield said he rang Severn Trent directly and was told the company had no knowledge of this action.

He said: “I was told it was fraudulent. Severn Trent also told me that if anyone was to visit the property it would be a representative from AMEY and the slip would have AMEY credentials on it.”

Mr Whitfield subsequently wrote a post about the issue on social media in a bid to warn others about the scam.

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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