Info Bulletin

BC Hydro issues new warning to customers about telephone scam

VANCOUVER — 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. 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. Customers are also reminded that if they receive a call from someone representing BC Hydro and they doubt the authenticity of the call, they should hang up and call back 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 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1 888 495 8501.