If you've received a phone call, text, or email regarding payment information or reimbursement details from Hydro-Québec, you might be the victim of fraud. A new warning from the public corporation comes just a month after the company announced it would refund $1.5 billion dollars.
Fraudsters might potentially target Hydro-Québec customers for credit card information via call, text, or email — methods that Hydro-Québec says they never use to obtain that information. Some fraudsters will pose as Hydro employees, warning people that their electricity will be cut off.
Hydro-Québec reminds people that they never accept credit cards as a method of payment for this exact reason. An employee would never ask for credit card information, the statement on the company website makes clear.
If customers are ever skeptical about an email they have received, they should access their customer file directly from the Hydro-Québec website.
Service interruption warnings, meanwhile, are typically sent via post. Email fraud is the most common type that Hydro-Québec encounters.
Translation: Pay attention to fraudulent texts, calls, or emails. We never use these means of communication for processing a payment via credit card or to transfer a reimbursement.
Hydro-Québec customers who might be victims of fraud are advised to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) as soon as possible. The CAFC estimates that less than 5% of internet fraud is ever reported.
Fraud is quickly becoming a problem in Canada as a whole. According to PwC Canada, in 2018, 55% of Canadians said they've been the "victim of economic crime."
One of the more troubling aspects for Hydro-Québec customers is that some fraudsters contact people regarding a job. The fraudsters will then demand a sum of money to access some imaginary file with the promise of said job.
According to the Hydro-Québec Terms of Confidentiality, the company "may not use the personal information it collects except for the purposes specified or in accordance with applicable legislation."
Customers can rest assured that any correspondence with any of Hydro-Québec's customer services via their authorized means of communication is secure and risk-free.
To find out more about Hydro-Québec's fraud prevention solutions, please click here.
To know more about Hydro-Québec's $1.5 billion dollar refund to the people of Quebec, please watch our report below!