Power bill scam promises “help”

MARGAREE, NOVA SCOTIA - A scam has moved into Eastern Canada that promises a tool to help people with their electricity bills.

A Margaree, Nova Scotia, senior said she's worried proposed power increases will frighten seniors into falling for the scam.

Mary Fleck, who sits on the executive of the National Federation of Seniors and Pensioners, said she recently got a call from a man selling a gadget that he promised could be plugged in near a power meter to recycle the electricity, shaving 45 per cent off her power bill.

The gadget came with a price tag of $50 dollars, plus $110 dollars a month, which the caller said Fleck could ignore, because it would be covered.

"So he said he was calling on behalf of the federal government and he was working with the, he said, the hydro company and that makes no sense to me," said Fleck.

Fleck immediately called the RCMP and reported the phone number — 760-705-8888.

Internet sites report it as a number displayed when people make free phone calls through Google's Gmail accounts.

Cpl. Louis Robertson, with the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre, said he's familiar with the number.

"More than 276 records on that phone number. Ontario Hydro Hydro One there and Manitoba Hydro had the same problem," said Robertson.

Robertson said they work closely with Google and other voice-over-internet protocol service providers.

He said they will attempt to find out who is using the number and shut the scheme down.



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