Richmond business receives call from scammer claiming to be BC Hydro

‘Tis the season of scams, and with the recent cold snap what better strategy than to threaten to cut off a person’s heat.

Peter Carr said his office of PnJ Metals in Richmond got a phone call Thursday afternoon from someone claiming to be from BC Hydro Services. The caller said Carr had failed to pay his hydro bill, so BC Hydro was sending over a truck to disconnect his power.

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The only way this could be averted, said the caller, was if Carr paid a $2,000 deposit.  

“My brother immediately phoned back the 1-800 number and the same guy answered and started going on again. But my brother said, ‘This is a scam. I have your number and we’re going to nail you, but good.’ The guy said, ‘Ya, go ahead. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and haven’t been caught yet.”

Carr said he realizes police can’t do much about phone scams but was wondering if others have been subjected to this one.

“I heard in Ontario there was a scam where they would actually drive up to people’s houses, wearing the hydro company’s outfits, and threaten to cut off their power unless a payment was made.”

The scammer would conveniently have a portable credit card machine, so some people would pay for fear of being plunged into the dark and cold, Carr added.

Scams become even more common around this time of year.

The Richmond News recently reported on a man who was being encouraged to report a lost credit card, but, when doing so, the scammer would obtain the credit card information.

For more information on recognizing a fraud and reporting it, go online to AntiFraudCentre-centreantifraude.ca.

To call the Anti-Fraud Centre toll-free, dial 1-888-495-8501

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