CoC warns of scam

Public urged to be wary after fraudster impersonates BC Hydro in scam attempt.

PORT HARDY—The Chamber of Commerce is warning of an apparent scam targeting the North Island in recent weeks.

A business contacted the Chamber to report that it had received a call from someone claiming to represent BC Hydro. The caller claimed that the company’s account was in arrears and that Hydro staff would arrive imminently to disconnect service unless credit card information was supplied.

The Port Hardy business declined and notified the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, BC Hydro, the Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce and the Port Hardy RCMP.

Since then a number of similar reports have apparently emerged.

The Chamber of Commerce recommends:

Never giving out personal information on the phone during unsolicited phone calls; Asking for references, a call back number and email address for any persons requesting this information; and, If something doesn’t seem right, record whatever information you have without alerting the fraudster or putting yourself in harms way, and immediately call the police.

Port Hardy RCMP Staff Sergeant Gord Brownridge echoed the advice, urging the public to be wary of unsolicited callers.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website, www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca, offers advice on recognizing, avoiding and reporting scams, and fraud can be reported via its toll-free number, 1-888-495-8501.