Police investigating 'spoofing' phone scam targeting Manitoba Hydro customers

The power company says customers have been receiving calls using recordings that sound like a Hydro representative from a phone number that "spoofs" Hydro's real toll-free number.

Scammers trick customers by making it appear as though call is coming from legitimate Hydro phone number

Manitoba Hydro says it is working with Winnipeg police to stop phone scammers from targeting its customers. (Shutterstock/Gajus)

Manitoba Hydro says its customers are being targeted by sophisticated phone scammers who are making it look like they're calling on behalf of the company.

The Crown corporation says customers have been receiving calls using recordings that sound like a Hydro representative. The calls come from a phone number "spoofing" one of Hydro's real numbers — 1-888-624-9376.

Spoofing involves scammers using software to hide their real identities by showing a fake phone number on a target's call display. The software can replicate actual numbers on the call display, making people think the call is from a reputable business.

Hydro says the scammers warn the target their account is in arrears and leave a voicemail asking them to call a different number to settle up.

When a customer calls back, the scammers try to arrange a payment at non-Hydro locations.

Hydro has four phone numbers — 1-888-624-9376, 1-866-890-3856, 204-480-5900, and
204-480-5901 — and says customers shouldn't call any other number about their account.

The power company also says it never accepts payments over the phone, by PayPal, using credit cards or from wire transfers.

Winnipeg police are working with Hydro to stop the scammers.

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