In response to increased activity in its service territory by fraudsters, Alectra Utilities is alerting customers of several new phone, text and letter scams.
The phone scheme involves a scammer claiming to be an Alectra Utilities technician demanding payment and threatening to remove the Smart Meter and install an analog meter. The fraudulent calls inform customers their power would be disconnected for several hours during the meter swap, unless they immediately pay by credit card at random kiosks in grocery stores.
Alectra Utilities does not charge customers for meter exchanges or ask customers to make payment using gift cards or at banking kiosks.
The text scam involves text messages being sent to customers claiming a refund is available from the utility. The text message includes a fraudulent Interac e-transfer link to follow.
Alectra Utilities never sends text messages to inform customers of refunds or service disconnections.
The letter (mail) scam involves letters being mailed to customers advising of an outstanding amount owed for a Smart Meter deposit. The letter scam is primarily targeted at business customers and threatens disconnection unless a Smart Meter fee is paid immediately.
Alectra Utilities does not charge customers for their Smart Meter and advises customers in advance of any changes to their service or account.
In the event customers receive suspicious phone calls, texts or letters of this nature, Alectra Utilities advises the following:
- Never make a payment for a charge that isn’t listed on your most recent Alectra Utilities bill
- Do not provide any personal information, including your Alectra Utilities bill or account number
- Do not click on links provided in text messages
- Do not allow the fraudster to arrange a time to visit your home?
Alectra asks customers to remain vigilant and verify their account information with Alectra Utilities’ customer care representatives directly if they suspect suspicious activity. Representatives are available during regular business hours to discuss any outstanding account activity. Visit alectrautilities.com/contact-us to report an incident.
If you believe you may be a victim of fraud or theft, contact your local police department to report the incident.
Tim Mossholder photo