1 in 4 unable to spot a scammer 

Picture of a blue front door in the UK
Community and people


  • Yorkshire Water surveyed 2,000 people to see if they could correctly identify a bogus caller, and see whether they would benefit from the utility company’s password scheme 
  • One in four could not spot the bogus caller, and almost one in five (18%) have been victim of a scam in the past 
  • Two thirds would feel safer with a unique password in place with their water company  


One in four people cannot correctly identify a bogus caller, potentially making them vulnerable to scams.  

During the research, participants were shown a video of a bogus caller and a video of a genuine employee and asked to identify them. People aged 18-24 found this the hardest, with less than half able to identify the bogus caller.  

However, older age groups fared better, with 90% of people aged 55-64 and 78% of over 65s identifying them correctly.  

Yorkshire Water offers a password scheme which allows customers signed up to its free priority services register to set up a unique password, so that they can be confident that it is a genuine employee at the door. Two thirds of respondents said they would feel safer with this type of password in place.  

Angie Markham–Nock, customer support manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Yorkshire Water employees will always carry ID with them – they'll usually turn up in a branded van or car, and be wearing uniform too. If you’re worried about bogus callers and would like some additional peace of mind, you can set up a unique password with us.  

“That means that whenever someone from Yorkshire Water comes to your door, you’ll be able to easily verify that they’re genuine, by asking for your password. To set up a password you just need to register for our free priority services on our website.”   

Kay Bainbridge, victim care & crime prevention office for West Yorkshire Police, said: “Bogus officials are a type of doorstep criminal who will pretend they have a legitimate reason to enter your home.  Once inside they will try to distract you in order to steal from you.   

“Never let unexpected callers into your home until you are satisfied they are genuine, keep your doors locked and ask for identification, as all legitimate officials will carry id that you can check. You can also contact the company they represent using a trusted number not one they have provided, and you can ask them to come back once you are satisfied they are genuine.  

“The password scheme set up by Yorkshire Water is an ideal way of protection, allowing you to verify they are a genuine caller therefore ensuring the safety of yourself or loved ones.   

“Do not feel under any pressure to act quickly or allow anyone into your house you are not comfortable with. 

“For further crime prevention advice contact your local crime prevention officer on 101 or visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/fraud”  

For more information on Yorkshire Water’s password scheme, register for the free priority services here: https://www.yorkshirewater.com/bill-account/priority-services-register/