Hydro Scam Alert
Last week a local business man responded to a call regarding his Hydro account. He was out of his office when he called the number (1-800-467-0529 fake #) given to his office staff about the Hydro account being in arrears.
Once on the phone he learned from the man at the other end that he “owed’ Essex Powerlines $2800. The man at the other end went into great detail as to how the power would be shut off to his business and how much it would cost him to have the service reinstated. Even though the business owner was fairly certain he had paid his bills, he doubted himself. Fearing loss of business and reputation, the business owner volunteered to pay by credit card. The fraudster at the other end said Essex Powerlines does not accept credit cards and the only method is by “PaySafe Card”, which he said was available at the local post office. The fraudster also told the businessman that if he hung up the phone the company would proceed to cut off his hydro in 30 minutes or less(high pressure, threatening sales pitch). The fraudster stayed on the phone until the businessman got to a post office nearby, bought the PaySafe Cards and gave him the serial numbers so money could be transferred.
When the businessman got back to his shop and checked his accounts, he realized he had been swindled out of $2800
Needless to say Essex Hydro does not collect outstanding balances in this manner.
Chris Carr – Customer Service Collections Supervisor at Essex Powerlines told us that there have been half dozen similar calls from local residents. He wanted us to reassure everyone that Essex Powerlines does not conduct business in such a manner and if in doubt, customers should call 519-737-6640 and talk to a company official before making any payment decisions.
Any calls of this nature should be directed to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. It is not necessary to contact LaSalle Police Service unless you have become a victim of the scam.
Hydro Scam Alert