To the editor;
There is yet another scam out there. This time someone phones claiming to be with BC Hydro, offering a power saving device. For a set price, they will send you, by mail, an electronic device that you plug in and it will cut your power consumption by 30 per cent.
Once they have you ‘hooked’, they ask for your credit card info and bank info. BEWARE! If they really are from Hydro, they would not need such info, as they could simply put the charge on your account, which would then be on your next bill.
Unfortunately, some people are still taken in – particularly the elderly or disabled, who, even if they have been told about such scams, may not remember at the time of the call; or those trusting souls who take a person at their word (if they say they’re from Hydro, they MUST BE from Hydro).
Luckily, most credit card companies offer fraud protection on their cards and any charges placed can be quickly reversed without necessarily having to change cards. However, bank accounts are not as simple and may not include fraud protection – it will depend on the account and the bank you deal with.
If you end up having to change bank account numbers, there’s the headache of informing anyone who makes automatic withdrawals or payments to your account of the new number (such as government pensions).
And please – if you or someone you know does fall victim to a fraud, don’t be embarrassed and do nothing – report it to your credit company and to the banks and even to the company the caller claimed to be with. They need to know and they can help you protect yourself better in the future.