Toronto Hydro: Spot, stop and speak up about fraud

Supported By:

Net Patrol International Inc.  Data Investigation and Forensic Services
Bankruptcy and Insolvency Trustees

March is National Fraud Prevention Month. To help customers protect themselves and their businesses from falling victim to fraud, Toronto Hydro is sharing information on how to spot, stop and speak up about fraudulent activity:

Spot

  • Toronto Hydro will never threaten immediate disconnection for non-payment
  • Toronto Hydro does not have a 1-800 number
  • Toronto Hydro does not accept pre-paid debit cards, gift cards or cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, as payment methods
  • Toronto Hydro does not charge a fee for “smart meter deposit”
  • Toronto Hydro will never ask customers to accept electronic transfers or payments of any kind over text message

Stop

  • Hang up on all suspicious calls immediately
  • Never make any payments under duress
  • Do not click on any suspicious links via text message or email — delete them!
  • Do not share any personal information over the phone or in-person
  • Contact Toronto Hydro directly to discuss account information, including billing
  • Contact local police if threatened in any way

Speak up

  • To report fraudulent activity, please contact Toronto Hydro at 416-542-8000 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501

For business customers specifically, Toronto Hydro is reminding owners to be cautious of unsolicited calls and to not provide or confirm any information from calls they did not initiate — including address, account numbers or office details. Compiling a list of companies their business uses, including utility providers, will also help employees know which contacts are legitimate.

For more information, including a tip sheet in multiple languages and examples of ongoing scams, please visit torontohydro.com/fraud.

QUICK FACTS

  • Scammers are known to impersonate local utilities like Toronto Hydro by sending threatening phone calls, texts and emails, or showing up in-person at a customer’s home or business to request personal information
  • In 2023, Toronto Hydro saw a decline in the number of reported fraud cases, but the total amount paid to scammers increased
  • In 2023, Toronto Hydro reports show that scammers continued to target small businesses customers in the restaurant and grocery industries
  • Last year, scammers threatened immediate disconnection for non-payment in 89 per cent of fraud cases reported to Toronto Hydro

QUOTE

“With a number of ongoing scams targeting our residential and small business customers, we must continue to share important information that will help protect our customers and their businesses from falling victim to fraud. If you’re ever unsure if you’re dealing with a real Toronto Hydro representative, please call 416-542-8000.”

This article was originally sourced from www.newswire.ca