OTTAWA – In light of continued reports of phone scams in the Ottawa area over the weekend and today, Hydro Ottawa reminds customers to protect themselves from callers posing as utility representatives and threatening to disconnect power. The utility has received approximately 200 reports since Friday.
Given the state of emergency in the province, Hydro Ottawa has been working closely with the Ontario Energy Board, the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and industry peers to address customer concerns about managing electricity costs during these uncertain times.
Last month, the provincial government announced that it was extending the ban on electricity disconnections for non-payment for all residential customers until July 31, 2020. Low-volume, small business customers will now also be protected by the ban. As of March 18, 2020, Hydro Ottawa has extended that ban to all of its customers. Hydro Ottawa is also offering flexible payment options and financial assistance programs that include emergency relief on its website.
Customers are reminded 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
- Visit Hydro Ottawa’s Fraud Awareness page for more information
“I find it revolting that malicious scammers are preying on our customers during a very anxious and vulnerable time, causing unnecessary confusion and distress. To be clear, there will be no disconnection of power to anyone as our city wrestles with the COVID-19 outbreak. I encourage our customers to be vigilant and to protect themselves from these sophisticated scams by following our tips or reaching out to us directly.”
- Bryce Conrad, President and Chief Executive Officer
Manager, Media and Public Affairs
Tel: 613-738-5499 ext. 2345