Scam Alert – How to Protect Yourself From Fraud

We live in a world where unfortunately, scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your personal information. Recently, there have been some scams in the energy sector. With that, our priority is to keep you informed and to ensure you are knowledgeable in protecting your personal information.

As scams are becoming increasingly more common, there are a few tactics and tips you can use to protect your finances, personal details, and utility information. Scammers use email, text messages, phone calls and door-to-door solicits to trick you into giving them your personal information or money. Keep reading to inform yourself of scams currently happening within the energy industry and follow these tips to avoid falling victim to these scams.

Quick Tips to Protect Your Personal Information

Confirm Contact Details

If you are being contacted from a company or organization always check to ensure their contact details match the information provided on their official website. Does their phone number match? Does their email match?

Do Not Give Out Your Sensitive Information

Companies and government agencies are not calling to confirm your sensitive information – do NOT give this information out. Please note that this is not the same as a company confirming your info to access information or make changes on your account. When you call or contact Priority, our Customer Service Representative will ask you to verify your account.

Protect Yourself Online

If you have received an email you deem suspicious, do not open it or click the links. If you did open the email change your username and/or password.

Be Suspicious

Be aware that fraudsters are real. If you receive a call from a company or government agency that seems suspicious hang up, search for the correct contact details online, and give them a call to confirm whether the call was a scammer.


Make Yourself Aware of Current Scams

Make yourself aware of the ‘con’ in convincing. If you are well informed on current scams in the news, you are less likely to fall victim to these. Here are some of the scams currently circulating in the energy industry:

Electricity Disconnection Scam

Scams have been circulating from individuals falsely representing themselves to be representatives of hydro companies – scams have been focused around the false threats of electricity disconnection. Scammers are falsely calling on behalf of energy and utility billing companies, requesting payment via bitcoin to avoid disconnection. This is a scam. Priority does NOT request nor accept payment via bitcoin. If you are receiving calls from energy or utility billing companies regarding your bills, please confirm contact details are the same as mentioned on their official websites. Be cautious when paying a bill – any due payments should be reflective of the amounts indicated in your account.

o Always confirm contact details with official information listed on official websites
o Priority does NOT request nor accept payment via bitcoin
o Click here for Priority’s payment options to pay your utility bills
o If you are ever receiving notice of a possible disconnection, please contact us directly: 1.866.836.3837 or [email protected]

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) Scam

While CEAP is very much a real government program, scammers are capitalizing on this as an opportunity. Some energy customers have reported receiving calls from scammers referencing CEAP and falsely indicating that home inspections are required in order to quality for the CEAP credit.

o Home inspections are NOT required to qualify for the CEAP credit
o The OEB does not conduct home inspections.
o Priority does not solicit over the phone. If our representatives were to call you, this would be directly from our official phone numbers

Energy Rebate Scam – $25 Carbon Offset

While some governments do offer carbon offset programs, scammers are capitalizing on this by means of door-to-door solicitation. Scammers have recently been going door-to-door, falsifying that this is on behalf of Priority and/or other energy and utility billing companies. This is an attempt to collect your personal information. Please do not give out your personal information or details regarding your energy bills through a door-to-door solicit.

o Priority does not solicit door-to-door
o Priority has no affiliation with the carbon off-set and will not be contacting residents or commercial customers regarding this

There are several other fraud scenarios that have been recently reported. In fact, Hydro One has listed 12 Fraud Scenarios recently reported. Please feel free to view this information in order inform yourself and protect your personal information.


Report Fraudulent or Suspicious Activity

If you do come across any suspicious activity, please report this to your local authorities as well as [email protected]. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre collects information on fraud and identity theft. They also provide information on past and current scams affecting Canadians. If you think you are a victim to fraud, be sure to report it.