Local utilities applauded for effort to protect communities from electricity bill phone scams

TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2016 /CNW/ - Local utilities and the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) were recently recognized for going above and beyond to protect customers from electricity bill phone scams with an Award of Excellence from the Canadian Society of Association Executives. With Crime Prevention Week underway, November 1 to 8, the timing of this award serves as a reminder that phone scams are an unfortunate reality.   

"It's nice to win this award but what really matters is that we're helping our customers win against scam artists," says Todd Wilcox, Chair of the EDA and President and Chief Operating Officer of North Bay Hydro. Electricity bill phone scams cost Ontarians tens of thousands of dollars every year, and it is a crime that has been active in more than seven provinces, according to the RCMP. Recognizing the impact of these scams on their customers and communities, local utilities worked through the EDA on a campaign earlier this year that equipped consumers with important safety tips.

Vulnerable populations as well as restaurants and small businesses – the prime targets of phone scams, were reached with support from the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association, as well as local utilities. "Good things happen when caring organizations work together to address serious community issues," says Teresa Sarkesian, President and CEO, EDA. "Customer protection is an important priority for all of our utility members and we will continue our efforts in supporting them to enable their customers to respond to potential scams."

During Crime Prevention Week, the EDA offers the following tips to protect yourself against electricity bill phone scams:

  • If someone calls and threatens to disconnect you if you don't make a payment right away by pre-paid credit card or wire transfer, SAY NO and HANG UP!
  • NEVER give your personal or financial information.
  • Report the incident to your utility and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. This agency collects information on fraud and works closely with police to solve these crimes.

More information on fraud prevention is available on the EDA website.

The Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) is the trusted and vital source for advocacy, insight and information for Ontario's local electricity distributors, the municipally and privately owned companies that safely and reliably deliver electricity to over five million Ontario homes, businesses and public institutions.

SOURCE Electricity Distributors Association

For further information: please contact the EDA's Director of Corporate Affairs & Communications, Jana Manolakos at (905) 265-5337 or email to jmanolakos@eda-on.ca


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