WINNIPEG -- Manitoba Hydro is warning people about a scheme that’s using COVID-19 to “take advantage” of its customers by email and phone.

The Crown corporation tweeted on Thursday that if anybody gets an unsolicited email indicating that Hydro owes them a refund, it’s a scheme.

Manitobans are advised to delete the email, not click on any links and report the scheme online.

Hydro is also warning of another scheme in which customers are being targeted with email and phone messages that threaten to shut off the person’s power unless an immediate payment is made.

Customers are being advised they have an outstanding bill and are told to make payments of up to $1500 within 30 minutes or else their electrical service will be disconnected.

Chris McColm, Hydro’s security and investigations supervisor, said the scheme appears to take advantage of COVID-19. He noted the Crown corporation has suspended disconnections indefinitely amid the pandemic.

“We will never phone you and demand immediate payment by a prepaid card or a money order,” he said in a news release, noting the schemes involve fake caller IDs so it looks like they’re calling from Manitoba Hydro.

Customers are asked to call 204-480-5900 or 1-888-624-9376 if they get a call or email and they don’t know if it’s authentic. They can also reach out to Hydro’s Facebook or Twitter pages.