There’s a new phone scam targeting clients of Manitoba Hydro.
The Crown corporation is warning its customers about a “rash of scam phone calls” — over 50 in the last week alone — attempting to fool Manitobans.
Hydro said the scammers will call customers and tell them their account is in arrears and needs payment, then try to get the person to pay the bogus bills at bitcoin machines located throughout Winnipeg.
Hydro’s Riley McDonald told 680 CJOB the callers have also been known to “spoof” Hydro’s number to appear more legitimate on your call display.
“It looks like it’s from our number,” he said. “But if they can get you on the phone, then they talk you through going to a fake location to pay. If they can’t get you on the phone, then they’ll leave a voicemail and they’ll give you a different number.
“They pretend to look up your account number and address and they give you an amount. They say if you don’t pay this by ‘x’ time, we’re going to disconnect you.”
McDonald said Hydro doesn’t accept any payments via phone, PayPal, credit cards, wire transfers, or from bitcoin ATMs, and that they’re working with Winnipeg police to stop the scammers.
WATCH: ‘I’m sorry’: Scammer claiming to be from Canada Revenue Agency confronted by Winnipeg man