Protecting yourself from scams and fraud
Important COVID-19 notice
Your safety is our priority. We’re aware that scammers and fraudsters are taking advantage of the COVID-19 public health emergency and may threaten to disconnect your utility service. Ways that these criminals may contact you include phone calls, texts, phishing emails, contacting you via social media or door to door visits.
If you are contacted and threatened with a disconnection please contact us and we’ll confirm whether you’ve been contacted by us or not.
Fraudsters, scammers or companies using high-pressure tactics will sometimes contact you by pretending to be an employee or representative of FortisBC. From suspicious phone calls, texts and phishing emails to social media posts, or even people knocking on your door, we want you to be aware of the types of fraud or scams out there and what you can do to protect yourself and your personal information.
Phone, text, email and social media scams
Fraudsters and scammers may mimic legitimate FortisBC emails to:
- make customers open an email
- click a link or attachment
- make a payment or give away personal information via phone or email
Some scammers send spam emails or texts disguised as FortisBC with spoofed email addresses, logos, trademarks, website links and wording to add to the deception.
Scammers may also contact you via text or email claiming to be FortisBC, issuing a refund and needing your banking information. If you click on the link you’ll be taken to pages that mimic direct deposit pages, asking you to select your bank and give your account details.
They may also attempt to contact you by phone, claiming that your account payment is overdue or that your service will be disconnected. They may use high-pressure tactics and claim that immediate payment is required through digital currency (e.g. Bitcoin) or by prepaid credit card.
What you can do to protect yourself
If you receive an email or text that appears to be from FortisBC that you’re unsure about, do not:
- click on the links
- open attachments
- download pictures
- respond to the email/text, or forward it
Instead, contact us and we’ll confirm whether the email/text was from us or not.
If you receive a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from FortisBC, the best thing to do is hang up and contact us to confirm if the call was valid.
What you can expect from FortisBC digital communications
If you receive a valid email from FortisBC, it will be in response to a request or inquiry you’ve already made with us that requires one of our customer service representatives to contact you. We don’t send unsolicited text or SMS messages
to customers or post fraudulent information on social media. If we’re issuing you a refund, it will be through a credit on your account, or a cheque that is mailed to you.
FortisBC will never ask you for your:
- social insurance number
- driver’s licence number
- financial information by email or text
- payment through digital currency or prepaid credit card
What you can expect from a FortisBC visit
If you're not expecting a visit from a FortisBC representative and a person knocks on your door claiming to be with FortisBC, ask to see their ID and contact us.
Note: FortisBC representatives will always carry valid identification.
We will never visit your home or business asking to see your furnace, other appliances, your bill or offer any types of services or products. We also don’t perform unscheduled inspections on home or business equipment. The only times we may come to your door is when there’s a natural gas disruption/outage or emergency.
Unannounced salespeople at your door
From time to time, salespeople from other companies may come to your door unannounced and use the FortisBC name to establish a point of trust with you. Using high-pressure sales tactics, they may ask to see your furnace, other appliances or your FortisBC bill. These visits can happen just before heating and cooling season – so before spring and in the fall. We encourage you to contact us if you are concerned or suspicious of the unannounced salesperson.
Your security and privacy
Your security and privacy are very important to us. If you receive a suspicious visit, email or sales call, contact us immediately or email firstname.lastname@example.org.