Bogus caller warning after men pose as electricity workers in North Staffordshire
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Neighbourhood officers have warned residents not to fall foul of bogus callers following reports of two men posing as electricity workers.
Staffordshire Police were notified of the two men calling at an address in the Old Butt Lane area on January 12 at 8am where they told a resident they were from Western Power Distribution and were there to install a smart meter.
However, the resident told the pair she’d received no letter over the appointment – despite the callers claiming a letter had been sent.
Local PCSO Colin Stepney said: “The males did leave the address and did not gain access. The resident contacted Western Power who informed the resident that there was no appointment made by them and that they had no meters to install.”
PCSO Stepney is now warning residents to be on their guard over bogus callers. He added: “Please be aware of anyone calling at your home address indicating that they need to carry out any work which you are not aware of - check their identity and contact the service company using a trusted contact number (not one the caller gives you) to verify their identity.
“With the current lockdown it is less likely that companies will visit residential addresses.”
Meanwhile officials at Western Power Distribution have backed the police and resident’s stance. Andy Pickering, WPD’s Network Services Manager for the West Midlands, said: “This lady did exactly the right thing by refusing to let these men into her property and ringing us to check whether they were genuine.
“We want to ensure that all customers stay safe and do not fall victim to bogus callers. All of our employees and contractors carry identification cards and anyone with any concerns can verify if the person is a genuine member of staff by taking a note of their name from their ID card and calling our Customer Contact Centre on 0800 096 3080.”
PCSO Stepney had previously issued details of the bogus callers via Smart Alert – a service which helps keep residents updated around issues in their area. To register for the service visit www.staffordshiresmartalert.co.uk.