Fraudsters posing as BC Hydro employees continue to contact customers across British Columbia by telephone in an attempt to steal money from residents and small businesses – particularly restaurants.
BC Hydro initially warned customers of the scam in early September. “Since then, more customers have come forward with additional details,” it said in a statement released on Wednesday, October 29. “According to reports, the fraudulent calls may come from a 1-800 phone number. The customer’s call display may show BC Hydro or display a legitimate BC Hydro phone number. This is done through ‘spoofing’.”
The caller demands immediate payment to avoid disconnection and suggests the customer purchase a cash gift card and call back to provide the serial number on the back of the card.
BC Hydro is reminding customers that it does not collect credit card or bank account information over the telephone and BC Hydro does not take payment from cash gift cards.
If you are a BC Hydro customer and receive a call from someone claiming to represent BC Hydro and you doubt their you should hang up and call BC Hydro at 1-800-BCHYDRO or 1-800-224-9376.
If an account is in arrears, BC Hydro will send several notices through the mail asking for payment and also use an automated dialer to remind customers to make a payment before electricity supply is impacted. Customers can check their account status online through bchydro.com.
BC Hydro customers are asked to report these calls by calling 1-800-BC-HYDRO, their local police department (in Revelstoke that is 250-837-5255) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.