A Calgary-based company is doing its part to fight utility fraud.
Enmax has joined a collaboration of over 80 businesses across Canada and the U.S. called “Utilities United Against Scams”, that seeks to protect customers by sharing information, data and best practices.
The company says it has been alerted by residential and business customers to over 150 incidents of fraud since January 2015.
These scams typically involve fraudsters calling or visiting homes and businesses and threatening to cut power unless payment is made.
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Doris Kaufman Woodcock, senior media relations advisor for Enmax, says collaborating allows the company to “collect data and information [and] see trending or patterns.”
“That’s in large part why all these North American utilities have started working together in order to empower other utilities, and the industry in general, to hopefully fight these types of scams,” Kaufman Woodcock explains.
Enmax says the majority of Calgarians have not fallen prey to these scams but that the perpetrators can be difficult to track down.
The company says it never threatens immediate disconnection and will always work with customers to establish pay arrangements. They also never take credit card payments over the phone.
“Ultimately, we work with our customers to come up with mutually agreeable payment arrangements when their account is in arrears and we want our customers to know that under no circumstances would we ever be demanding payment on such short notice,” Kaufman Woodcock says.
How do you know if you’re being scammed?
- Someone shows up at your door claiming to work for Enmax. (With the exception of meter-readers, Enmax employees do not go door-to-door)
- If you are threatened with immediate disconnection.
- If you are being asked for payment via phone (this includes pre-paid credit cards and money transfer services)