People Warned to Beware of Scam Targeting Brampton Residents
If you have received an unsettling phone call from an individual purporting to be from your local utility company, you're not alone.
Alectra Utilities (formerly Hydro One Brampton) recently announced that it is aware of a telephone scam targeting residents in its service area. The company said that customers have received calls from individuals threatening to disconnect their electrical services if they do not provide immediate payment through a cheque cashing service.
According to Alectra, the people calling customers are claiming to be utility employees. Once the customer picks up, the fraudulent "worker" instructs him or her to visit a cheque cashing service to make hydro bill payments.
In similar phone scams, both residential and business customers are asked to purchase pre-paid credit cards in amounts claimed to be outstanding on their electricity bills, and to call a specific phone number to provide the card and a personal identification number (PIN) as payment on their account. When the perpetrator’s phone number is called, the recorded message fraudulently suggests that the customer had reached the utility’s billing department.
Alectra Utilities is reminding customers that it never asks for a pre-paid card payment for any outstanding account balance and does not disconnect services for non-payment after 4:00 p.m. on weekdays or anytime on weekends or holidays.
In the event customers receive a suspicious phone call, Alectra Utilities advises the following:
- Do not provide any personal information, including Alectra Utilities or credit card account numbers.
- Collect any information possible about the caller.
- Contact Alectra Utilities’ Customer Service department during regular business hours to report the incident.
If you believe you may be a victim of fraud or theft, please contact your local police department to report the incident.
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