SOURCE: PowerStream Inc.

PowerStream

October 10, 2016 15:06 ET

PowerStream Alerting Customers to Phone Scam Activity

Criminals Posing as Utility Employees Asking for Payment to Avoid Power Disconnection

VAUGHAN, ON--(Marketwired - October 10, 2016) - In response to increased activity in its service territory, PowerStream is alerting customers to a telephone scam in which customers are being threatened with having their electrical service disconnected if they do not provide immediate payment in the form of a pre-paid credit card.

According to the reports, customers are receiving fraudulent calls from a phone number that may appear as "PowerStream" on call display. The perpetrator, claiming to be a PowerStream employee, instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid credit card in the amount claimed to be outstanding on their electricity bill, and to call a specific phone number to provide the card and a personal identification number (PIN) as payment on their account. If this is not done, the customer is threatened with immediate disconnection. When the perpetrator's phone number is called, the recorded message fraudulently suggests that the customer has reached PowerStream's billing department.

PowerStream never asks for a pre-paid card payment for any outstanding account balance. The company's standard procedure for overdue accounts is to provide multiple notices including an automated reminder call followed by a hand delivered Final Notice to the service address prior to disconnection. PowerStream does not disconnect services after 4 p.m. on weekdays or any time on weekends or holidays.

In the event customers receive a suspicious phone call, PowerStream advises the following:

  • Do not provide any personal information, including PowerStream or credit card account numbers.
  • Collect any information possible about the caller.
  • Contact PowerStream's Customer Service department at 1-877-963-6900 during regular business hours, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., to report the incident.

BACKGROUND

ABOUT POWERSTREAM

PowerStream is a municipally-owned energy company that provides power and related services to more than 380,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.

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