The water company received reports of the scam from customers who got calls claiming that their bill is overdue, or that their direct debit payment has failed.
The scammer then asks for ‘correct’ bank details, which gives them access to the person’s bank account.
The fraudulent phone call may come from a New Zealand area code – starting with +64 or 0064.
Jonathan Harding, managing director of Yorkshire Water’s customer contact centre, said: “It’s really important to be vigilant when giving bank details over the phone. If you suspect that a caller is illegitimate, then hang up. The easiest and safest way to make a payment to Yorkshire Water is via our online billing service or by calling our automated payment line on 0345 1 247 247.
“We’re working closely with Friends Against Scams, which is a National Trading Standards initiative that protects and prevents people from becoming victims of scams by empowering them to take a stand against scams. If you do receive a phone call that you think is fraudulent, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the website.”
To pay a bill online, go to: https://www.yorkshirewater.com/bill-account/pay-your-bill/ and to report fraud online, go to: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.