Residents are being advised to be extra vigilant of bogus callers this winter.
Northumbrian Water says it is more important than ever to be aware of such conmen, with more than 50 per cent of them claiming to be from a water company.
Nichola Shields, customer service manager, said: “All Northumbrian Water employees carry official ID cards and anyone who receives a visit from someone claiming to be from the ‘water company’ should always ask to see ID.
“If people are in any doubt, they should not let the visitor in.
“Our employees will not mind if they are asked to wait outside while the occupant checks their identification with the company.
“If there are any serious concerns, residents should phone us or the police immediately.
“As well as bogus callers turning up at people’s homes, a common trick is to target people by telephone. Don’t give out your personal details over the phone.”
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We support Northumbrian Water on its attempts to educate customers.
“Our advice is never let someone who cold calls into your home – no matter how genuine they seem.
“Always check their ID.”
Further information about bogus callers is available at www.northumbria.police.uk