Toronto Hydro is warning customers about several scams currently operating that involve text messages, emails, and threatening phone calls.
The Hydro company said that the most recent scam uses fake bills — which includes personalized letters — that are emailed to customers. Scammers demand the payment of $400 for a Smart Meter Deposit or their power will be disconnected. Toronto Hydro said that is not a legitimate charge.
Customers are asked to know their account numbers, and if suspicious of a bill, to refer to a past invoice for comparison.
Another scam involves business and residential customers receiving emails and/or text messages that ask them to accept an electronic transfer (credit or refund) by clicking a link.
“We never send these types of emails/text messages. We advise customers not to click on any links, as fraudsters are attempting to access personal information,” said Toronto Hydro in a statement.
Along with emails and texts, scammers have been calling customers claiming to be “Toronto Hydro Billing and Collection Process.” They usually demand payment in the form of a pre-paid card. Toronto Hydro said it would never ask for this type of payment.
“We’re concerned about these new scams, and we want our customers to be protected from this type of fraudulent behaviour,” said Tori Gass, Spokesperson, Toronto Hydro. “We encourage them to call us directly to report any suspicious activity.”
Toronto Hydro recommends customers not to provide any personal information by phone, email or text, not to make an payments, and to contact Toronto Hydro’s Customer Care department at 416-542-8000 if you suspect any type of fraud.
Additionally, customer can report suspicious activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 and quote file number 844396.