FortisBC is warning customers about a telephone scam on the rise in B.C. – specifically in the valley area – in which a caller, pretending to be from a utility company, threatens to disconnect service unless the customer makes an immediate bill payment. The call can take a variety of forms, but most commonly, the customers are instructed to use a prepaid credit card.
Fortis spokesperson Nicole Bogdanovic said it is unknown at this time if anyone has lost money in the scam, as the Fortis office has only heard from suspicious customers.
“FortisBC works closely with customers to address overdue accounts with the aim of continuing service — disconnecting service is considered only after all attempts for payment are unsuccessful,” a press released stated. “Customers receive multiple notices including bill messages, automated and personal calls and mailed notices all in an effort to continue service. FortisBC also offers a number of payment methods; customers can choose the payment method that is most convenient to them.”
FortisBC will not contact customers in any way, including by email, asking for their credit card numbers, social insurance or similar personally identifiable information.
If customers are asked for this information, they can be confident FortisBC is not the entity asking.”
Fortis is telling customers can be certain they are speaking to a legitimate FortisBC customer service representative if they call us directly using a number published on their statements or on its website.
FortisBC advises both its business and residential customers that if they receive a threatening phone call about their account or are asked for payment using a specific payment method, they are likely dealing with a fraudster.
If a customer receives a suspicious phone call, they are advised to gather as much information as possible, such as the caller’s name, hang up and call FortisBC using the toll-free customer service number printed on their natural gas or electricity bill statement or online at fortsbc.com/callus.