This interactive learning centre at the BC Hydro display drew a lot of attention during he Big Valley Home Show at Tradex in Abbotsford. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Fraudsters posing as BC Hydro employees swindled nearly $45,000 out of the hands of customers in 2018, as intricate scams continue to gain momentum.

BC Hydro announced Friday that fraudulent thefts were up 50 per cent last year compared to 2017. Reports of customers being contacted by scammers were also up, reaching a record 2,000 calls.

“While these numbers are significant, they likely underrepresent the scale of the problem, as it is believed most attempted and successful scams are not reported,” the utility said in a news release.

Fraudsters would contact people by phone, email or text and threaten to immediately disconnect service if a payment is not received. Customers were then asked to buy pre-paid cash or credit cards, or deposit money into a bitcoin ATM.

READ MORE: Weight loss, cryptocurrency fraud among BBB’s top 10 scams of 2017

Scams were reported mostly in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Nanaimo, and Vernon.

BC Hydro does not collect credit card or bank information over the phone, nor by email or text, and does not accept payment from pre-paid cash, credit card or bitcoin.

It only sends notices by email or using an auto-dialer to remind customers to make a payment, which cannot be done over the phone. Customers can check their account online or check the authenticity of a call by calling 1-800-BCHYDRO.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Coming Home: Penticton fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

World champion snowmobile racer seeks public’s help after dirt bikes were stolen in Penticton

The bikes, valued at $25,000 and $11,000, were stolen from the back of a locked truck on Sept. 12

Penticton teen cyclist allegedly struck by black Ford truck resulting in hematoma

The incident occurred at the intersection of Westminster Avenue West and Power Street

LyleXOX launches first solo exhibition at Liquidity Wines in OK Falls

The Canadian artist has amassed thousands of fans for his beautiful self-portraits using found items

Vees uphold winning streak with 7-3 victory against Centennials

The team is off to Prince George to take on the Spruce Kings tonight, puck drops at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

EDITORIAL: This is our election

It is up to the voting public to identify the issues in the upcoming federal election

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Cyclists ride in Okanagan to support Rwandan schools

The 10th annual Lake2Lake Ride for Rwanda has raised more than $100,000 in donations and counting

‘How does it even happen?’: Bear locks itself inside vehicle in Port Moody

It was apparent the suspect had gained entry with his ‘bear’ hands

Most Read