Ontario warns residents of text scam offering one-time payment
Ontario’s Ministry of Energy is warning residents of a scam circulating over text in which recipients are offered a one-time government payment.
In the texts, the recipient is informed that they are eligible for a one-time payment from the Ontario government to cover “high heating costs” in the province. The text encourages recipients to reply to receive their payment.
A fraudulent text message claiming to be from the Ontario government can be seen above.
Palmer Lockridge, spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy, confirmed to CTV News Toronto Saturday that these texts are “not authentic.”
“The Ministry of Energy, the Ontario Energy Board and electricity utilities do not phone, email, or text to promote energy savings programs or to offer an in-home inspection,” Lockridge said.
While these texts are indeed fraudulent, Lockridge noted that the government does offer energy bill relief in the form of the Ontario Electricity Support Program, which offers credits of up to $75 per month.
“Customers who are behind on electricity or natural gas bill payments and face having their service disconnected may also qualify for emergency financial support of up to $1,200 through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program,” she said.
For more information on scams in the energy sector, the ministry recommends visiting www.oeb.ca/scams.
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