New hydro fraud targets older people, Greater Sudbury Utilities warns

(File photo)

Greater Sudbury Utilities has received several reports of a new fraud scheme targeting older adults in the area.

In a news release Tuesday, the GSU said some customers have reported receiving phone calls over the weekend from a person claiming to work for the Ontario government and promising rebates for Ontarians over 75 years of age.

The caller then asks for account information and passwords and arranges appointment times for a visit to the customer’s home.

"We urge all customers to be alert for fraudulent phone calls,” Wendy Watson, GSU's director of communications, said in the release.

“Do not give your information out over the phone. Call the local number on your utility bill and ask about any offers to confirm they are legitimate.”

Anyone who thinks they may have been the victim of an attempted fraud should report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 1-888-495-8501 or visit their website.

“Protect yourself, your information and your finances,” added Watson. “Do not allow people into your home unless you have initiated the contact and you are expecting them. If something sounds too good to be true, check with your service provider and find out the rea facts. You need to make sure you’re talking to the right people -- not the fraudsters.”

If you have an older relative, friend, or neighbour who might be vulnerable to fraud attempts, "please make sure they are aware of this scam scheme," the release said.