toronto hydro

This is what to do if you receive a suspicious call from Toronto Hydro

Toronto Hydro is asking customers to be wary of strange calls alleging to be from the company, as there has been an uptick in scam activity lately.

Residents and businesses are being told by an unidentified fraudster posing as the electric utility that their power will be disconnected if they don't make an immediate payment over the phone or via e-transfer.

It's been happening so frequently that Toronto Hydro has actually had to issue a press release reinforcing the fact that they never cut off power without first reaching out to customers multiple times and in multiple ways, including through the mail.

They also say that they never ask customers to call a 1-800 number to make a payment, as these scammers have apparently been doing.

People are being advised to hang up immediately if they receive such a call, and instead phone the number found on their electricity bill to verify the status of their account. They can also report suspected fraud to Toronto Hydro's customer care department, including through an online form.

The company has also provided a list of other tips, including "avoid reacting automatically" to and "ask additional questions" of the caller, compare any suspicious invoices with an old bill to verify account numbers and veracity, and never click a link in a sketchy-seeming email or text message.

Also, of course, never give out personal or identifying information such as your credit card number over phone or email, and if you have any questions about your account, call the official Toronto Hydro line found on your bill directly.

Given that many people are having a harder time than usual paying their bills right now and that the province just last month ceased the program that offered cheaper time-of-use power rates for citizens amid pandemic lockdown, people may be more inclined to believe the calls are legit — but always be cautious.

Even though we're all in this dark time together, there will still always unfortunately be those who are eager to take advantage of others' trust and vulnerability.

Lead photo by

Toronto Hydro

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