FortisBC warns customers of suspicious calls

Customers advised to call FortisBC if they receive a suspicious call

KELOWNA, BC, Aug. 11, 2015 /CNW/ - FortisBC is warning customers about a telephone scam on the rise in B.C. in which a caller, pretending to be from a utility company, threatens to disconnect service unless the customer makes an immediate bill payment. The call can take a variety of forms, but most commonly, the customers are instructed to use a prepaid credit card.

FortisBC works closely with customers to address overdue accounts with the aim of continuing service — discontinuing service is considered only after attempts for payment are unsuccessful. Customers receive multiple notices including bill messages, automated and personal calls and mailed notices all in an effort to continue service. FortisBC also offers a number of payment methods; customers can choose the payment method that is most convenient to them.

In addition, FortisBC will not contact customers in any way, including by email, asking for their credit card numbers, social insurance or similar personally identifiable information. If customers are asked for this information, they can be confident FortisBC is not the entity asking. Customers can be certain they are speaking to a legitimate FortisBC customer service representative if they call FortisBC using a number published on their statements or on our website.

FortisBC advises both its business and residential customers that if they receive a threatening phone call about their account or are asked for payment using a specific payment method, they are likely dealing with a fraudster. If a customer receives a suspicious phone call, they are advised to gather as much information as possible, such as the caller's name, hang up and call FortisBC using the toll-free customer service number printed on their natural gas or electricity bill statement or online at fortisbc.com/callus.

FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs more than 2,200 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.1 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,150 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 46,000 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American electric and gas utility business. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at fortisinc.com or sedar.com.

SOURCE FortisBC

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Bogdanovic, Corporate Communications Advisor, FortisBC, Phone: 250-469-6078, fortisbc.com, @fortisbc

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