Epcor warns of Bitcoin scam targeting small businesses

File photo. Global News

Epcor has a warning for customers after receiving complaints that at least two small businesses fell for a phone scam.

Small businesses have been receiving calls from someone pretending to be from Epcor, saying their power will be shut off — within the hour — if they don’t hand over a certain amount of bitcoins.

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On Tuesday, the utility company’s spokesperson, Tim le Riche, said Epor had received seven calls to report the scam. The fraudulent phone calls appear to have begun on Saturday.

“Our message to people is that it’s just not us. Epcor does not do business like this,” le Riche said.

Two customers fell for the scam and made “substantial” payments. le Riche said Epcor doesn’t do business in this manner.

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“If there does happen to be any kind of billing issue with any customer, we always work with them. We talk to them many times. We work towards resolution. We would never make a sudden phone call to customer to say, ‘You’ve got to make a payment within an hour or we’re going to shut you down.’ We just don’t do that.”

READ MORE: Edmonton fraud victim describes evolving CRA, Bitcoin scam: ‘I became a crazy lady’ 

Scammers have targeted Epcor customers in the past. Last year, the company warned of potential door-to-door fraudsters.

le Riche said customers can call 780-310-4300 to verify account information.

Anyone who is concerned that they were the target of a scam should report the incident to the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile.

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