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

Whalers girls stop 49ers

Ballenas Whalers senior girls soccer team ended their regular league on a… Continue reading

Third delivery of building units for 222 Corfield in Parksville arrives April 26

Vehicles should expect intermittent, single-lane alternating traffic

City of Parksville to look into cost, process of beach cleanup

Cleanup would include removing rotten logs, adding sand

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read