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Ontario Energy Board warns of scammers impersonating its employees


Door-to-door sales have been banned in Ontario since March 2018, but that’s not stopping aggressive sales staff from pitching expensive long-term rental contracts for items like furnaces and air conditioners.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) says these scammers are now impersonating its employees.

“We know there are some bad actors out there who are using our logos to either impersonate us or try to lend credibility to their scams," Harneet Panesar, Chief Operating Officer with OEB, told CTV News Toronto.

According to Panesar, scammers are pretending to be with the OEB and are offering free government rebates that don't exist.

The pitch could either come as a phone call or a knock on the door from someone claiming you're eligible for rebates.

The OEB does not go door-to-door and does not offer rebates. Once inside, the scammer will try to get the homeowner to sign long-term rental agreements for furnaces, air conditioners, air filtration systems, water heaters, water filters, water softeners, or insulation.

"If someone knocks on your door asking for a home visit or inspection, just say no, and we know in some of these interactions they can get quite aggressive. So, if that happens, call the police," Panesar said.

OEB said scammers are also sending text messages with links promising funds, making threats of disconnecting power and seeking a large payment.

Scammers are also impersonating utility companies. Alectra Utilities tells CTV News Toronto some of its customers have lost money to the disconnection scam.

"Scammers will call our customers pretending to be us and threaten immediate disconnection of power. Alectra Utilities does not do this. We don't disconnect same day and we will always give you enough time to call us directly to try and work things out,” Ashley Trachef of Alectra Utilities said.

If you get a call from anyone claiming to be with a utility company, hang up and call your provider directly at its customer service number. Top Stories

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