Manitoba Hydro is warning customers to be wary of high pressure scammers threatening to shut off their electric services unless immediate payment is made by a prepaid card. Their Security and Investigations Supervisor Chris McColm warns these people are crooks and you should hang up on them adding Hydro will never phone you and demand immediate payment by prepaid card or a money order. Another scam involves receiving a text message saying you were overbilled and are eligible to receive a refund which is an attempt to get your personal banking information.
McColm says the utility saw nearly a 300 percent jump in the number of fraud related complaints this year from the year before with 862 phone, text and email scams as of October 31st with the increase driven by scammers threatening disconnection of service to small business owners. He advises do not click on any links in the email or text, do not reply to them and never provide personal banking information via mail or text and if unsure call them at 1-888-624-9376.