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Kelowna  

Fortis phone scam

A new phone scam going on throughout British Columbia is hitting Kelowna particularly hard.

The scam involves someone calling a FortisBC customer, and threatening to turn their power off if they don't make a payment.

The person asks the customer to make a payment in an “unconventional way” such as to a prepaid credit card, or in some cases, they offer to come by the house and collect in person.

“It’s savvy enough that customers we wouldn’t expect are calling us and asking us if this is for real,” said Nicole Bogdanovic, with FortisBC.

In some cases the scammers appear to use information from the customer’s account, but Bogdanovic said they don’t believe the information is coming from FortisBC.

“In at least one instance, a customer was contacted using a number we don’t even have on file,” Bogdanovic said.

Reports of the phone scam are coming from all over B.C. but Bogdanovic said Kelowna has been targeted specifically.

“We probably get about 2 to 3 calls a day from concerned customers, within central Okanagan and south Okanagan,” Bogdanovic said.

Fortis urges customers with any concerns to call them using a phone number listed on their website.

“This is not how FortisBC, or any utility does business,” Bogdanovic said. “Service disruption would be a last resort.”

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