Nearly three-quarters of reported cases in 2019 were from small business owners
TORONTO, March 10, 2020 /CNW/ - March is Fraud Prevention Month, and Toronto Hydro is raising awareness about sophisticated scams targeting customers.
Nearly three-quarters (70%) of the 1,800 reported cases of fraud in 2019 came from small business owners, highlighting a segment of the population scammers frequently target. Overall, Toronto Hydro customers paid more than $127,000 to fraudsters in 2019.
In the majority of cases, fraudsters are calling our customers – sometimes masking their numbers – and threatening to immediately disconnect power if customers don't make a payment right away. Toronto Hydro never disconnects power without first contacting customers through multiple channels and will never ask a customer to call a 1-800 number (like 1-855 or something similar) to make such a payment.
Other tactics fraudsters may use include:
Protect yourself against fraudsters
Scams are constantly evolving, but learning how to spot the red flags will help protect you against fraudsters:
Block scammers with these tips:
Reporting suspicious behaviour
Customers who suspect any type of fraud are encouraged to contact Toronto Hydro's Customer Care department at 416-542-8000, which is staffed Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or online at torontohydro.com/reportfraud.
Customers should also report suspicious activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
For more tips on how to identify and block scammers, visit torontohydro.com/fraud.
"With Fraud Prevention Month underway, we're reminding customers that understanding how to recognize fraud is the best defence against it. Remember, scams can impact anyone, anywhere, at any time."
ABOUT TORONTO HYDRO
Toronto Hydro owns and operates the electricity distribution system for Canada's largest city. Recognized as a Sustainable Electricity Company™ since 2014, it has approximately 775,000 customers located in the city of Toronto and distributes approximately 18% of the electricity consumed in Ontario.
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SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation