UNITED Utilities has joined forces with trading standards officers in a new crackdown on bogus water workers in East Lancashire.

The operation will see warnings issued to communities soon after bogus callers strike.

Vital information about potential crimes can be passed to every trading standards team across the region within minutes, helping stop conmen in their tracks.

United Utilities ID security administrator Kate Fox said: “We’re doing things differently to help our customers.

“We always advise our customers to report potential fraudsters to the police, but by working with trading standards we can make sure the alert goes far and wide as quickly as possible.”

United Utilities said there are a number of clues to spot a bogus caller.

Sometimes they describe themselves as being from the ‘water board’, which a United Utilities worker would not say.

Tips to avoid being conned include checking their identity card, and if you are not sure, call 0845 072 0822.

More information can be found at www.unitedutilities.com/bogus-caller