Toronto Hydro is warning against door-to-door and phone scammers
Toronto Hydro is warning residents of scammers who are pretending to be from the agency and demanding immediate payment from customers.
"There are a number of ongoing scams targeting our residential and small business customers," reads a Toronto Hydro statement on the issue.
"Fraudsters are contacting customers by phone, text message, email, fake electricity bills and door-to-door visits. "
Fraud alert: scammers are going door-to-door posing as Toronto Hydro representatives. They're pretending to inspect meters or sell products.— Toronto Hydro (@TorontoHydro) February 4, 2020
Remember, Toronto Hydro never goes door-to-door to solicit sales.
Learn how to spot and stop fraud: https://t.co/GCfsy1VX89 pic.twitter.com/VFsm2mYMIg
Toronto Hydro says fraudsters are frequently calling customers and hiding their numbers so they appear to be from Toronto Hydro.
They claim to be "Toronto Hydro Billing and Collections Process" and threaten immediate disconnection if payment isn’t made right away.
According to Toronto Hydro, scammers typically ask that customers call a 1-800 number (or something similar) to make a payment using a pre-paid card or bitcoin. When customers do as they are told, they then hear a phone message that is very similar to what they’d hear if they called Toronto Hydro.
"We never threaten to disconnect power immediately,"the statement notes.
"We also never proactively ask for payment by pre-paid card and we don’t accept bitcoin. Customers should not share any account information or make payments. Simply hang up."
Scammers are calling our residential & small business customers.— Toronto Hydro (@TorontoHydro) February 3, 2020
Report suspicious callers who:
- Use a 1-800 number
- Accept bitcoin as payment
- Ask you to make a payment at a kiosk at a nearby location
More tips to identify & report scams: https://t.co/GCfsy1ElJz pic.twitter.com/DdltYZuoBC
Toronto Hydro says scammers are also showing up at people's doors and posing as representatives before pretending to inspect meters and panels or sell and install products such as smart meters or devices to prevent power surges.
Toronto Hydro says they never go door-to-door to solicit sales.
Some customers are also receiving emails or text messages that appear to be from Toronto Hydro, indicating that they must click on a link to accept an electronic transfer.
"This is a scam – we never send these types of messages," they said. "Don’t click on any links, as fraudsters are attempting to access your personal information."
Customers have even received fake bills and customer letters demanding payment for a "Smart Meter Deposit." Toronto Hydro says this is not a real charge and customers should not make any payments upon receiving a suspicious bill.
"Check the account number and compare any suspicious documents to your previous invoices," they said.
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