Hydro warns of ‘sophisticated’ phone scheme

Jason Gaidola, CTV Winnipeg
Published Saturday, June 15, 2019 1:32PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, June 15, 2019 1:33PM CST

Manitoba Hydro is warning customers of a new phone scheme where recording that sound like service representatives are being used.

The Crown corporation said customers have been receiving “sophisticated” phone calls that are “spoofing” Manitoba Hydro’s 1-888-624-9376 number.

“They’ve taped our auto-mated messaging from our customer service and using that to pretend to be Manitoba Hydro,” Bruce Owen, Manitoba Hydro spokesperson, said.

“This is a new low.”

Hydro said callers will say your account is in arrears and immediate payment is needed. It explained if a customer picks up their phone, the caller will pretend to track down their address and account number and will attempt to “arrange payment” at non-Hydro locations.

If the call is missed, customers may receive a voicemail and request a call back at a different number.

Owen said the utility has received more than 300 complaints and is unsure if any money was lost.

Manitoba Hydro said it has four numbers: 1-888-624-9376, 1-866-890-3856, 204-480-5900, and 204-480-5901.

It said those are the only numbers customers should call about an account.

The Crown corporation said it does not accept payments over the phone, PayPal, using credit cards or from wire transfers.

Manitoba Hydro confirmed it is working with Winnipeg Police Service.

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