HAMILTON, ON, March 6, 2017 – In response to increased activity in its service territory, Alectra Utilities is alerting business customers to a new telephone scam in which they are being threatened with having their electrical service disconnected if they do not provide immediate payment through a cheque cashing service.
According to the reports, customers are receiving fraudulent calls from a perpetrator, claiming to be a utility employee, who instructs the customer to visit the cheque cashing service to make payment. In previous phone scams, both residential and business customers were asked to purchase a pre-paid credit card in the amount claimed to be outstanding on their electricity bill, 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 was called, the recorded message fraudulently suggested that the customer had reached the utility’s billing department.
Alectra Utilities never asks for a pre-paid card payment for any outstanding account balance. Alectra Utilities does not disconnect services after 4 p.m. on weekdays or any time on weekends or holidays.
In the event customers receive a suspicious phone call, Alectra Utilities advises the following:
If you believe you may be a victim of fraud or theft, please contact your local police department to report the incident.
Alectra Utilities Corporation serves approximately one million homes and businesses across an 1,800 square kilometre service territory comprising 15 communities including Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Brampton, Bradford, Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, St. Catharines, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan. The Alectra family of companies includes Alectra Inc. (Mississauga), Alectra Utilities Corporation (Hamilton) and Alectra Energy Solutions (Vaughan).