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Ontario utilities team up to warn customers about ongoing scams

TORONTO, March 3, 2022 /CNW/ - March is National Fraud Prevention Month and five of Ontario's largest utilities have joined forces to raise awareness about ongoing sophisticated scams targeting utility customers.

Some common tactics fraudsters use to target Ontarians include impersonation of the local utility or its employees; sending threatening phone calls, texts and emails; or showing up in-person at a customer's home or business and requesting personal information or payment. The 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 utilities are encouraging all customers to protect themselves and are providing them with the following 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 instincts — 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
  • Always compare bills to previous ones, including the dollar amount and account number

Reporting suspicious behaviour

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

Customers can find more information at:

National Fraud Prevention Month aims to equip Canadians with the tools and knowledge to prevent against fraud
— with Ontario utilities highlighting privacy and security maintenance amongst all residential and business customers.

About Alectra Utilities Corporation
Serving more than one million homes and businesses in Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe area, Alectra Utilities is now the largest municipally-owned electric utility in Canada, based on the total number of customers served. We contribute to the economic growth and vibrancy of the 17 communities we serve by investing in essential energy infrastructure, delivering a safe and reliable supply of electricity, and providing innovative energy solutions.

Our mission is to be an energy ally, helping our customers and the communities we serve to discover the possibilities of tomorrow's energy future.

About Elexicon Energy
Elexicon Energy powers life's most meaningful moments. As the fourth largest municipally owned electricity distributor in Ontario, our vision is to empower the communities we serve and help customers seize opportunities to ignite a better future. We provide over 171,000 residential and business customers with reliable and affordable energy services. Elexicon Energy is owned by five municipalities: the City of Pickering, the Town of Ajax, the Town of Whitby, the City of Belleville and the Municipality of Clarington. Learn more at elexiconenergy.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Hydro One

Hydro One Limited (TSX: H)

Hydro One Limited, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is Ontario's largest electricity transmission and distribution provider with approximately 1.5 million valued customers, approximately $30.4 billion in assets as at December 31, 2021, and annual revenues in 2021 of approximately $7.2 billion.

Our team of approximately 9,300 skilled and dedicated employees proudly build and maintain a safe and reliable electricity system which is essential to supporting strong and successful communities. In 2021, Hydro One invested approximately $2.1 billion in its transmission and distribution networks, and supported the economy through buying approximately $1.7 billion of goods and services.

We are committed to the communities where we live and work through community investment, sustainability and diversity initiatives. We are designated as a Sustainable Electricity Company by the Canadian Electricity Association. 

Hydro One Limited's common shares are listed on the TSX and certain of Hydro One Inc.'s medium term notes are listed on the NYSE. Additional information can be accessed at www.hydroone.comwww.sedar.com or www.sec.gov.

About Hydro Ottawa
Hydro Ottawa delivers electricity to more than 346,000 homes and businesses in Ottawa and Casselman. For 100 years, Hydro Ottawa has reliably supplied its customers with power, building and investing in the local electric grid. Proudly municipally owned, Hydro Ottawa contributes to the well-being of the community we serve. Its innovative services help customers manage their account and energy use.

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 787,000 customers located in the city of Toronto and distributes approximately 18 per cent of the electricity consumed in Ontario. 

SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation

For further information: Media Contacts: Alectra Utilities, Ashley Trgachef, Media Spokesperson, ashley.trgachef@alectrautilities.com | 416-402-5469; Elexicon Energy, Kimberly Brathwaite, Brand and PR Advisor, kbrathwaite@elexiconenergy.com | 905-424-9477; Hydro One, Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or 416-345-6868; Hydro Ottawa, Josee Larocque, Manager, Media and Public Affairs, joseelarocque@hydroottawa.com | Media Line: 613-738-5499 x2345; Toronto Hydro, Russell Baker, Corporate Spokesperson, media@torontohydro.com | Media Line: 416-903-6845
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