Only scammers demand bill payments in cryptocurrency

This article was published in October 2022 and may be outdated.

Your phone rings or you get a text or email that your power will be cut off within an hour because you owe money on your energy bill.

The threat comes from out of the blue. You barely have time to think before you’re told the truck is on the way to disconnect you. You fear your power being cut. No lights. No fridge. No TV. It can be worse for a small business like a busy restaurant.

Scammers know this. They tell you the only way to stop the truck is for you to pay up. Bitcoin is best. Do it now. Use a Bitcoin ATM.

Sound unreal? It’s not by any means. It happens almost every day. No utility is immune from these scammers.

The latest twist is scammers will contact Manitoba Hydro customers saying they owe money on their bill. They’ll then send them a text message — with our logo to make it look “official” — and a QR code for them to scan at a Bitcoin ATM to make a payment.

You can learn more about frauds and scams on our website or at Utilities United Against Scams of which Manitoba Hydro is a member.

What you need to know

  • Manitoba Hydro does send text messages to customers to remind them to pay overdue bills. We do not text a customer about an immediate disconnection.
  • Manitoba Hydro does not demand payment in cryptocurrency, or a gift card, or a money transfer, or a credit card.
  • Never respond to a caller who requests personal information or demands cryptocurrency.
  • If a customer thinks they’re being scammed, they can call us at 204-480-5900 or 1-888-624-9376 or reach out to us on Manitoba Hydro’s Facebook and Twitter pages. They can also report a scam to Manitoba Hydro.
  • If you’re worried about an amount due on their bill, register for an online Manitoba Hydro account to check your balance and manage your account
  • If you’re behind on your energy bill, we can work with you to make your payments more affordable, including setting up a flexible payment arrangement.