Dark image of a person wearing a hoodie talking on the phone. Copy says "Is it real, or is it a scam?" Find out how scammers are targeting our customers and how to protect yourself.

Fraud & Scams

Electricity customers are often targeted by scammers. Here are some of the most common scams we hear of, the red flags that can help you identify that you're being targeted, and what you can do to protect yourself and avoid falling victim.

Phone Call Threatening Immediate Disconnection for Overdue Account

This is a common scam used across North America where the caller claims to be from the local electricity distribution company such as Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro and threatens immediate disconnection if payment is not made for an overdue account. Red flags that this is a scam:

  • This is the first time you have heard that your account is overdue. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro provides multiple reminders that your account is past due before disconnecting. 
  • The call comes from a 1-888 or 1-800 number or an area code other than 519. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro is a local company and only calls from a 519 area code. 
  • You receive the call after regular business hours or on a weekend. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro does not make collection calls nor disconnect customers outside of regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m until 4:30 p.m..
  • The caller asks for payment over the telephone via wire transfer, prepaid credit card or gift card, or cryptocurrency. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro does not accept payment over the phone, through wire transfers, or by gift card or cryptocurrency. Learn more about your bill payment options.
  • The caller threatens disconnection during the winter. Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro does not disconnect residential customers during the winter months. 

Text Message Advising of a Hydro Rebate or Credit

Some customers have received text messages advising that they are eligible to recieve a credit on their account, and providing a link they should click to accept the credit. Red flags that this is a scam:

  • Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro does not communicate with customers via text message. Any credits that may be due on an account will be applied directly to the account by us, with no action required by you. 

Home Visit Required to Verify Eligibility for Programs

Some customers have received calls from companies that claim they need access to the home to verify eligibility for programs such as the Ontario Electricity Support Program. Red flags that this is a scam:

Rules for Energy/Electricity Retailers

Energy/electricity retailers offer residential and business customers the option of signing up for a contract, and must follow certain rules. These rules include:

  • They must be licensed by the Ontario Energy Board, the province's energy regulator.
  • They must give you a business card and show their company ID badge.
  • They do not need to see your utility bill until you decide to enter into a contract.
  • They can't sign you up for a contract while they are at your home, nor can they leave a copy of a contract with you.
  • There are limits on the times of day and the number of times an energy retailer can come to your home.

For a list of licensed energy retailers and details about the rules and regulations they must follow, please visit the Ontario Energy Board website

Protect Yourself

  • Hang up immediately when you receive a call you suspect is fraudulent.
  • Never provide your Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro account number, or your bank or credit card account numbers.
  • Do not click the link on text messages that offer rebates or credits.
  • Sign up for My Account, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro's customer portal, so you can verify billing details and balance information about your account. 
  • If you receive a message about an overdue Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro account, do not call the number left on the message. Instead, call the phone number provided on your Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro bill to speak to a customer service representative during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.