Montréal, November 16, 2016
Hydro-Québec takes part in Utilities United Against Scams Day
On this first Utilities United Against Scams Day, Hydro-Québec would like to raise customer awareness of the hazards of e-mail and phone scams. More than 80 energy companies across North America, including Hydro-Québec, have joined forces to educate people on how to spot a scam.
Our customers are being targeted by several types of fraud, like these:
- E-mail asking them to click on a link to a fake Hydro-Québec Web site and enter personal information
- Calls from someone pretending to be an Hydro-Québec employee who threatens to cut off their power if they don’t give them a credit card number
How to recognize phishing
Over the past few weeks, many customers have received e-mail saying that the payment of their last bill has been refused by their financial institution due to technical problems. They are told to click on a link to log into their account and enter their personal and bank information. Don’t click on the link: it goes to a fake Web site that looks like Hydro-Québec’s.
It can be difficult to recognize phishing e-mail messages, but they often share the following characteristics:
- They contain spelling mistakes or awkward phrasing.
- They refer to a fake problem, such as a late payment or a security breach involving your confidential information.
- They say the situation is urgent and you have to act quickly.
- They contain links that take you to a Web page where you are asked to enter personal information (password, date of birth, social insurance number or credit card number).
How to recognize a phone scam
People have been making fraudulent phone calls pretending to be Hydro-Québec employees. If someone calls and asks for a credit card number to keep your power from being cut off, don’t give them any information. Hydro-Québec will never ask you for a credit card number.
How to protect yourself
There are several things you can do to guard against e-mail scams. Never answer unsolicited e?mail asking for personal, confidential or financial information.
And never reply to e-mail that demands immediate action and threatens serious consequences if you don’t comply.
Last, don’t click on any links in suspicious e-mail. Instead, enter the company’s official Web site address, like hydroquebec.com, directly in your Web browser.
For more information, see Fraud prevention on the Hydro-Québec Web site.
If you think you’ve received a phishing e-mail, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.