Scammers are posing as utility employees in Mississauga and Brampton

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Published March 10, 2023 at 9:33 am

scam utility mississauga

Scammers are impersonating utility employees in Brampton, Mississauga and across Ontario.

This is a common tactic fraudsters use to target unsuspecting Ontario residents, according to a press release from four utility companies including Alectra Utilities Corporation.

In addition to texts, emails and threatening phone calls, fraudsters will show up in person at a customer’s home or business and ask for personal information or payment, the utility companies note.

“These requests can include pressure for immediate payment, threats to disconnect service the same day, and demands to purchase prepaid debit cards, gift cards or bitcoin,” the utility companies note.

March is National Fraud Prevention Month and Ontario’s largest utilities joined forces to raise awareness about ongoing sophisticated scams targeting utility customers.

The utilities offer these tips to stay safe:

  • Never make a payment for a charge that isn’t listed on your most recent bill
  • Ignore text messages or emails with suspicious links promising refunds
  • Don’t call the number provided to you — instead, call your utility directly to check the status of your account
  • Only provide personal information or details about your account when you have initiated the contact with the utility representative
  • Utility companies will never threaten immediate disconnection for non-payment
  • If you feel threatened in any way, contact your local police

Steps you can take to protect yourself against fraud:

  • Take five minutes to ask additional questions and listen to your instinct – if something doesn’t seem right, ask someone about it
  • Immediately hang up on suspicious phone calls
  • Don’t click any links in emails/text messages asking you to accept electronic transfers
  • Avoid sharing personal information over the phone or in-person
  • Always compare bills to previous ones, including the dollar amount and account number

Report suspicious behaviour

If you believe you may be a victim of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 and your local utility.

For more information visit the Alectra Utilities fraud information page.

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