People from all over Mississauga are reporting that they’ve been getting unsettling phone calls from someone who claims to be working for a local utility company.
Alectra Utilities recently announced that they are aware that their lines are being used in a telephone scam that’s targeting people in their service area. They shared that their residents have been getting threatening calls from individuals who are claiming to be workers of utility companies. The threats usually involve telling the targeted individual that their electrical services will be disconnected if they do not provide payment right away via a cheque cashing service.
Alectra further shared details of the calls, saying that the fraudulent calls work when a customer picks up the call and then a fake utility worker instructs the victim to make immediate hydro bill payments by visiting a cheque cashing service or else their utilities will be cut off in a few hours.
A similar type phone scam targets both business and residential customers and asks them to purchase prepaid credit cards to cover their supposedly outstanding utility bills. They are then asked to call a specific number to provide the card details as well as a personal identification number to make the payment on their account. A fraudulent voice recording answers the call, further tricking victims into thinking that they’ve indeed reached the utility company’s billing department.
Warnings Sent Out
Alectra Utilities want all customers to know that they will never ask for prepaid card payment for outstanding balances. They also want to inform customers that they handle disconnections for non-payment before 4 p.m. on weekdays (or could be anytime during holidays or weekends) and that they do not do disconnection outside of that schedule.
As of now, Alectra Utilities is still working with the authorities to investigate these cases and to find out who are the people behind the scam.
Avoid Getting Scammed
Alectra Utilities advises the following actions should you receive a suspicious phone call:
- Refrain from sharing any information of a personal nature. This includes your utility account numbers and credit card details.
- Note all information from the caller. Get the caller to give you as much unfortunately as possible.
- Immediately report the incident by contacting Alectra Utilities’ Customer Service office during business hours.
- Do not entertain calls that require you you send money by untraceable means.
- Consider having caller ID if you do not have one.
- Only pay through typical payment channels (no prepaid credit cards!).
Do not forget to report to your local police department as soon as possible if you suspect that you’ve been a victim or a target of the scam. Your prompt action is crucial more so now that crooks are getting smarter with using technology,
Do you know someone or perhaps a business that needs professional private investigator? Need assistance on determining if scammers are targeting you? Contact us at Haywood Hunt so can immediately plan the right course of action.