June 14, 2019 5:45 pm

Manitoba Hydro warning public about sophisticated phone scams

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Manitoba Hydro is warning its customers of a new phone scam.

The crown corporation said the sophisticated prank calls use recordings that sound just like Hydro – and spoof the company’s phone number.

READ MORE: Serial prank-caller arrested for 28 calls to Winnipeg’s 911 in two years

The scammers are calling and telling Manitobans their Hydro accounts are in arrears, and arranging for payments to be made at non-Hydro locations.

“If you end up talking to them, they pretend to look up your address and your account number and they try to arrange payment. They’ll go to a non-Hydro location, take cash, and then take your money,” said Riley McDonald with Hydro’s media relations.

“Our recommendation is, if you get this kind of call, hang up.”

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McDonald told 680 CJOB that the scammers will sometimes leave voicemail, telling customers to call another number, which isn’t associated with Hydro.

“I believe we’ve had somewhere near 26 or 27 reports of this. A lot of (the reports) were from small businesses, which is also interesting , because they’ll typically call residences.

“If you’re worried about this sort of thing, you can see all of your options for your paying your bill on our website.”

Hydro is working with Winnipeg police to stop the scammers, and said they don’t accept payments over the phone, via PayPal, credit card, or using wire transfers.

WATCH: Prankster broadcasts nuclear alert message in Winnipeg


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