Phone scams target Hydro Ottawa customers amid COVID-19 outbreak

March 17, 2020

OTTAWA –  Today, Hydro Ottawa received an increase in reports about suspicious callers posing to be utility representatives threatening to disconnect power as residents deal with a state of emergency in the province related to COVID-19. 

Hydro Ottawa recently announced additional assistance and protections to customers, including extending the provincial disconnection ban by an additional three months and suspending all collection action to provide customers with more time to pay their accounts. Hydro Ottawa is also promoting financial assistance programs that include emergency relief for customers. More information can be found on their website.  

In 2019, Hydro Ottawa joined Alectra Utilities, Hydro One and Toronto Hydro to increase awareness about ongoing sophisticated scams targeting utility customers. This is the second event in 2020 targeting Ottawa electricity customers.  

Under normal circumstances, Hydro Ottawa never threatens to disconnect power immediately, nor does it ask customers to meet its employees at a location to make a payment. Hydro Ottawa encourages customers to protect themselves and reminds them of 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 Hydro Ottawa directly at 613-738-6400 to check the status of your account
  • Do not provide any personal information or details about your account
  • If you feel threatened in any way, contact 911 or the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222 ext. 5433

If customers have been victims of this scam, they are advised to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

To read more about how to protect yourself from scams and fraud, visit Hydro Ottawa’s Fraud Awareness page.

 

Media Contact

Josée Larocque
Manager, Media and Public Affairs
Hydro Ottawa
Tel: 613-738-5499 ext. 2345

[email protected]

www.hydroottawa.com


About Hydro Ottawa

Hydro Ottawa delivers electricity to approximately 335,000 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.

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