CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia American Water repeated warnings for customers to guard themselves against utility imposters in light of a reported incident of theft by a man posing as a water company worker in Charleston.
West Virginia American Water said their employees will never request nor accept cash during service calls to homes or businesses. Company employees also should not need access to any indoor facilities to read meters, turn service on or off or perform maintenance work, and typically are not authorized by the company to enter customer’s homes.
West Virginia American Water recommends taking the following precautions when approached by someone who says they are a utility worker:
- Always ask for a company-issued photo ID. West Virginia American Water employees carry company-issued photo ID badges and should not need access to indoor facilities to read meters, turn service on or off or perform maintenance work.
- Look for the logo. All West Virginia American Water service personnel wear uniforms and drive company-branded vehicles with the company logo. At times, West Virginia American Water uses contracted services from other trusted companies, and those companies will have branded vehicles and identification as well.
- Never give cash. Employees and contractors never collect money or credit card information from customers in the field.
- If you suspect someone may be a utility imposter, close and lock your door, and call 911. You can also call West Virginia American Water at 1-800-685-8660 to report the incident and confirm whether service work is scheduled in the area.
“We want our customers to feel secure when our employees visit their property, so there is no need to feel uneasy about making someone wait until you’re sure the person is a valid utility worker,” said West Virginia American President, Robert Burton. “West Virginia American Water employees care about our customers’ safety, and we don’t mind the wait. We believe it’s worth the peace of mind for our customers. Take the time to ensure that the utility representative at your door is a legitimate employee on official utility business.”