January 29, 2015 – Durham Regional Police have asked us to advise our members of an Utilities Scam after five Oshawa companies were told to pay outstanding bills or risk having their electricity shut off.
Since Friday, January 23, 2015, five business owners in Oshawa have been contacted by phone and told that their outstanding account balance requires immediate payment or else their electricity would be disconnected within the hour. The suspect tells the owner to attend a nearby gift card location and to load pre-paid credit cards with the account balance. The suspect then requires the business owner to call a 1-866 number to relay the credit card information.
In some cases, the suspect has the victim’s utility account number. Investigators are advising the public not to respond to any demands for money over the phone. No reputable hydro provider would demand instant payment with prepaid credit cards. If you have received a similar demand, contact police.
Anyone with new information about this incident is asked to contact D/Cst. Hollister of the Central East Division Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2790.
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.