A WATER company is warning people to beware of bogus callers during the festive period.

South East Water bosses are calling for customers to be wary of criminals claiming to be from the water board who ask for access to their homes.

Steve George, the company's customer services director, said: "Unfortunately Christmas can be a time when opportunist thieves take advantage knowing there are new and valuable gifts in home.

"These criminals can be very believable and persuasive and at this time of year we all want to think the best of people.

"Quite often, they use the phrase 'water board' which should immediately arouse suspicion because this is not a phrase that has been used for many years.

"If our team or contractor Clancy Docwra need to enter the home they will be happy to wait while you check their ID."

Customers should answer the door while the door chain is on, check the identification card of the visitor and their uniform for company logos. Look for a South East Water van and set up a password on your account which people will quote when they visit.