Manitoba Hydro is warning the public about fraudulent telephone calls being made to customers claiming to be from the utility company.
Hydro says the caller asks a few questions, then states that the customer’s account is in arrears and must be paid immediately. The customer is then provided with payment options, which include making a payment through a local retailer, paying through a PayPal account, wiring a cash payment, or providing a credit card number.
Hydro says the fraudulent calls are quite believable and they often give the customer a short time limit in which to make a payment before the power will be cut off. Some customers have been called multiple times.
A spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro says they do not demand immediate payment over the phone, accept credit card or PayPal payments, or ask a customer to wire money.
Anyone who receives the call is asked to hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.