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