CLINTON-- Utility customers have fallen victim to many scams over the years when impostors show up at the door, claiming to work for the local water authority.
But now there might be a solution: emailed pictures. The Connecticut Water Company is now sending out emails to customers with a picture of the utility employee before a representative shows up.
"What we'll do now is send a picture of the employee and their name to the customer just before they arrive so the customer can be assured that this is in fact an authentic employee," said Connecticut Water President and CEO Eric Thornburg.
It might sound simple, and it is, but it hasn't been done before, and proponents believe it will cut down on theft and potential assaults resulting from imposters.
In 2013, Thornburg recalls an incident in which an elderly couple allowed supposed Connecticut Water employees into their Naugatuck home. "They found an envelope with cash that the couple had saved to give to their grandson and when we heard about that, we were just outraged," said Thornburg.
Inspired by stories like that, the publicly-traded utility company decided to take action. They unveiled the new email-photo program this week, and it's already a hit among customers, according to water company dispatchers.
"It makes them feel safe and they will open their door and not feel a little hesitant or scared," said Leslie Muszynski.
The system does rely on technology and requires the customer to have a device that can receive email, but Thornburg believes that will not be much of a limiting factor.
"Sometimes we tend to think well, senior citizens don't have access to email but what we're really finding is, more and more everyday are having access to that technology."