Phone of­fer to re­duce Hy­dro bill “too good to be true”

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

“It was too good to be true,” said Stanstead’s Pat Jory about an of­fer she re­ceived on the tele­phone Mon­day morn­ing; that re­al­iza­tion prob­a­bly saved her $199.

“I re­ceived a call on Mon­day morn­ing with an of­fer for a ma­chine that I could plug into my hy­dro me­ter that would save me about 40% on my Hy­dro-Que­bec bill. The man I spoke with said they were work­ing with Hy­dro-Que­bec and that the ma­chine would cost $199.00. I was a lit­tle sus­pi­cious so I told them I had no money and the con­ver­sa­tion quickly ended,” ex­plained Mrs. Jory who then called Hy­dro-Que­bec to see if the of­fer was le­git­i­mate. “The per­son at Hy­dro-Que­bec told me that there was no such ma­chine and that they had al­ready had a few phonecalls about them.”

Sur­pris­ingly enough, Mrs. Jory re­ceived an­other phonecall a few hours later, ob­vi­ously from the same bunch, and with the same of­fer. Sur­prised that they called back, this time she de­cided to try to get more in­for­ma­tion from the fraud­sters. “I told the man who called me the sec­ond time that I had al­ready heard of the of­fer and that I had called Hy­dro-Que­bec to see if the of­fer was gen­uine and that Hy­dro-Que­bec had said no.” At this point the tele­phone fraud­ster changed the script a lit­tle, telling Mrs. Jory that Hy­dro-Que­bec said “no” be­cause they don’t want peo­ple re­duc­ing their hy­dro bills. “Well, Hy­dro has sent me a di­ag­nos­tic bill so that I could re­duce my elec­tric­ity bill, and that was free!” was Mrs. Jory’s quick re­ply.

“I guess I led them to be­lieve that I was a lit­tle in­ter­ested in their ma­chine but that I didn’t think they were a le­git­i­mate com­pany. I was even­tu­ally trans­ferred to an­other man, who I found out was the owner of the com­pany. He kept as­sur­ing me the com­pany was le­git­i­mate and gave me their name, Hy­dro

En­ergy So­lu­tions, and their phone num­ber,” Mrs. Jory con­tin­ued. She was even told that she wouldn’t have to put any money up front. She fi­nally got off the phone with the in­sis­tent caller, with­out mak­ing the or­der.

Mrs. Jory called the po­lice to report the in­ci­dent to the Fraud De­part­ment. “They took all of my in­for­ma­tion and then told me that this kind of phonecall was quite com­mon. The com­pany sends the prod­uct COD and then when it doesn’t work, you can’t get a re­fund.”

Tele­phone fraud is a big prob­lem across Canada and the po­lice need the help of the pub­lic to fight it. Ac­cord­ing to Sureté

du Québec spokesper­son Aure­lie Guin­don, any­one who has re­ceived a sus­pi­cious phonecall of­fer­ing ser­vices that seem fraud­u­lent should phone the

Sureté du Québec’s gen­eral num­ber of 310-4141 and they will be trans­ferred to a fraud spe­cial­ist. “Even if the per­son didn’t lose any money but just sus­pected some­thing, we would like to talk with them,” said Of­fi­cer Guin­don.

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