Local hydro companies warn customers of telephone scam

Posted on Tuesday May 09, 2017

Callers threaten immediate disconnection for overdue hydro account

GUELPH & WATERLOO REGION, ON (May 9, 2017) – Energy+ Inc., Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc., Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc., and Waterloo North Hydro Inc. are warning customers to be aware of a telephone scam targeting electricity customers across the province.

Electricity customers in Ontario have reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to represent the local electricity distribution company. The caller threatens immediate disconnection of electricity service if an overdue amount is not paid using a pre-paid credit card or wire transfer. To make the threat seem legitimate, the fraud artists go so far as to provide a 1-800 number for people to call, which is answered “hydro”, or sometimes using the local electricity distributor name.

Your local hydro companies remind customers that utilities follow the rules laid out by the Ontario Energy Board when it comes to notifying customers about past due accounts and possible disconnection, and only use disconnection as a last resort. Past due reminders include multiple notices by mail or telephone prior to disconnection of service, including 10 days advance written notice, the opportunity to arrange a payment plan to avoid disconnection, and whenever possible, at least 48 hours’ notice before disconnection occurs.

Electricity distributors do not:

  • Ask for credit cards over the phone or accept gift cards as acceptable forms of payment
  • Ask for bank or electricity account balance information
  • Disconnect service with little or no notice

Customers who receive a suspicious call should not provide any personal information, including bank or credit card account numbers or account balance, hang up immediately, and notify your local hydro utility when possible.

If you have questions about the collection process and/or your account balance, please call your local distribution company at the number listed below:

Energy+: 519-621-3530

Guelph Hydro: 519-822-3010

Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro: 519-743-3600

Waterloo North Hydro: 519-885-6840

For information on how to protect yourself or your business against fraud, please visit the RCMP’s Scams and Fraud website at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.