Nanaimo RCMP are warning the public about scam involving someone claiming to be from BC Hydro, and the use of pre-paid Visa cards. A Nanaimo woman was scammed out of hundreds of dollars.
In early March, a 48-year-old woman got a call from a person claiming to work for BC Hydro. Call display showed the caller was in Utah. The caller said the woman owed money and her power would be shut off if she didn’t pay up.
The victim was told to buy pre-paid Visa top-up cards, scratch the back off and give the numbers to “BC Hydro”. She purchased $1000 worth, called the phone number provided and handed over the information.
Several days later, the same person called back and claimed there were no funds on the cards purchased and told her to buy more. At this point, the victim became suspicious and called the real BC Hydro in Nanaimo. They said there was no way they would ever ask her to do such a thing.
Nanaimo RCMP investigators called the phone number in Utah. The person who answered quickly hung up when asked where their office was located. Investigators did a Google search and found numerous fraud complaints linked to the same number.
“The victim will not be able to recoup her losses and unfortunately this could have easily been prevented if she had simply called BC Hydro in the first instance and done a google search of the phone number,” said Nanaimo RCMP Constable Gary O’Brien.