Utility providers across Ontario are warning customers of an ongoing scam targeting customers as the holiday season approaches.
Fraudsters may impersonate a utility provider representative and make threatening requests through phone calls, texts, emails or in-person visits to a customer’s home or business.
They may threaten to disconnect service if a customer doesn’t make an immediate cash payment. Personal information may also be requested and there may also be demands to purchase prepaid debit cards, gift cards or Bitcoin.
Utility companies are encouraging customers to remember the following in order to protect themselves from potential fraud:
- Never make a payment for a charge that isn’t listed on your most recent bill.
- Utility companies will never threaten immediate disconnection for non-payment.
- Do not provide personal information or details about your account.
- Do not call the number provided to you. Instead, call the utility company directly to check the status of your account.
- Ignore text messages or emails with suspicious links promising refunds.
- Contact your local police service if you feel threatened in any way.
- Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-855-495-8501, as well as your local utility if you believe you may be a victim of fraud. -CINEWS