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Hydro warns of phone scam

Manitoba Hydro issued a warning about a phone scam Monday after receiving customer complaints.

Someone from a toll-free number claiming to be with Manitoba Hydro has called customers, asked a few questions, then stated the customer's account is in arrears and must be paid immediately.

The customer is then provided with payment options, which include making a payment through a local retailer, paying through a PayPal account, wiring a cash payment or providing a credit card number.

Manitoba Hydro said the fraudulent callers seem quite credible and often give the customer a short time limit in which to make a payment before their power will be cut off. Some customers have been called multiple times.

Manitoba Hydro says it does make reminder phone calls to customers who are in arrears but it does not demand payment be made immediately over the phone, accept PayPal or credit card payments or ask customers to wire their payment.

Hydro says customers who receive such fraudulent phone calls are advised to hang up and report the call immediately to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Customers with questions about their accounts can call Manitoba Hydro at 204-480-5900 or toll-free 1-888-624-9376.

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