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

Saddle bronc rider earns highest score in Cloverdale Rodeo’s history

In 73 years, no one had achieved a 94 in saddle bronc —until last night

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop, closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

COLUMN: ‘Smart growth’ lacking in Surrey

Surrey council’s approval of infrastructure projects in the Tynehead area shows the… Continue reading

GALLERY: Cloverdale Rodeo Parade brings thousands through the town centre

From ponies to hot rods, the 73rd annual parade had it all

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read

l -->