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

Sparks fly off Steinway Grand during Vernon Valentine’s show

CONCERT REVIEW: NOCCA piano duo impresses

Vernon Christian School “Unplugs”

The event takes place Thursday, Feb. 28.

Okanagan College achieves second LEED Platinum award

“You don’t have to look hard to find advances in sustainability across all the trades”

What’s happening Family Day at SilverStar

SilverStar is offering a 50 per cent discount for all-inclusive day tickets on Family Day.

Vernon rolls out the red carpet for Oscars live stream

Okanagan Screen Arts Society hosts red carpet event in support of hospice

Vernon art gallery turns out the lights and throws a party

DJ, drinks and food at Art After Dark Feb. 23

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Drive BC warning slippery conditions for Okanagan main highways

The region is forecasted to see flurries and snow for the first half of the weekend

Most Read