New Westminster – In October of 2014, BC Hydro advised its customers of fraudsters posing as BC Hydro employees and contacting customers in British Columbia by telephone in an attempt to steal money from residents and small businesses, particularly restaurants.
The NWPD is asking both, residents and small business owners to remain vigilant in relation to this ongoing scam. Since the initial public announcement in October 2014, the NWPD has continued to respond to calls for service of this nature. The common theme in these situations is the caller demanding immediate payment via some sort of prepaid credit or gift card in which they request the number from the back of the card in order to complete the payment. Once the caller has the card number, the victim is advised that their payment is up to date and that they have avoided immediate disconnection of hydro services.
The NWPD are reminding the public that BC Hydro does not collect credit card or bank account information over the telephone and BC Hydro does not take payment in the form of cash gift cards. Moreover, hydro services in New Westminster are not provided by BC Hydro, but by the New Westminster Electrical Utility. The City of New Westminster does not collect credit card or bank account information over the telephone and the City of New Westminster does not take payment in the form of cash gift cards.
If anyone receives a call from someone claiming to represent BC Hydro and they are demanding immediate payment, the NWPD is asking people to hang up and call BC Hydro at 1-800-BCHYDRO or 1-800-224-9376 to clarify the legitimacy of the phone call.
If you have been the victim of this scam or received any calls from a fraudster representing BC Hydro, please contact the New Westminster Police Department at 604-525-5411 or your local police department.