The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is warning locals of a growing number of energy-related scams.
According to the board, some of these involve Facebook pages or emails from entities claiming to be the agency, or affiliated with or endorsed by the OEB.
Officials say some scammers even falsely include the OEB’s name and logo, with others claiming to offer rebates or assistance with applying for bill support programs. The board says they do not have a Facebook page, so if you see a Facebook or Instagram page with their logo or program names, it is fake.
OEB says the scam often comes with a false claim that a home energy assessment is needed, or a request for the consumers’ personal energy account information. According to the board’s site, a home energy assessment, audit, inspection or home visit is not required to apply for the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) or the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP).
The board reminds everyone they will not contact you directly unless you contact them first. In addition, utilities will never ask for payment through a gift card, e-transfer or bitcoin.
If you get an email, text message, or phone call from someone posing as a utility representative and threatening to disconnect your power during this winter disconnection ban period, officials say don’t respond and contact your utility directly using the phone number displayed on your bill.
The OEB advises everyone to be cautious about sharing personal information or utility account information with anyone.
Officials say if someone calls you, ask for the name of the person you are speaking with, the company they represent and their phone number. If someone is at your door, ask to see identification, like a company ID badge or a business card, with the person’s company information on it.
To report a possible scam contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll-free at 1-888-495-8501.