Stories and news from FortisBC
Door to door and digital scams: How to protect yourself
January 22, 2019
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.
We’ve stopped all planned work that would require an employee to enter a customer’s home, unless there’s an emergency.
To learn more about scams and frauds during this unprecedented time, visit Protecting yourself from scams and frauds. See how we’re Supporting British Columbia during the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you receive a knock at your door and someone asks to see your furnace, consider this - the person you may be speaking to might not be who they say they are. FortisBC has received a significant number of inquiries and complaints relating to persons claiming to be from FortisBC visiting customers’ homes and asking to inspect their furnaces or other appliances.
Door-to-door sales visits often occur and exist in every industry, but sometimes a salesperson may pose as a well-respected brand or company, when they are in fact not.
Here’s five things to know about scams:
- FortisBC does not solicit door-to-door. From time-to-time, a FortisBC representative could come to your door if there is an issue with reading or accessing your meter, a gas disruption or emergency, or to notify you of construction work in your area. We are there to provide information or assistance only, not to come into your home to upgrade or sell you appliances.
- Be cautious of anyone who shows up unannounced claiming to be from FortisBC offering appliance inspections. If you are unsure, ask for their information and call us to verify.
- Always ask for photo identification and get the name of the person offering the services and the business or firm they represent.
- If you ask the salesperson to leave, they must leave right away. If you feel unsafe, call your local police department.
- When in doubt, do not provide your personal information, do not show them your FortisBC bill (it contains personal and confidential information) and do not let the visitor into your home.
Report suspicious activity
- If you receive a suspicious visit from someone claiming to be a FortisBC representative, call us. Customers can be certain you're speaking to a FortisBC customer service representative if you contact FortisBC at 1-888-224-2710.
- FortisBC never asks customers for Social Insurance Numbers, driver’s licence numbers, passwords or financial information by email. If you receive an email that appears to be from FortisBC, that you’re unsure about, do not click on links, open attachments, download pictures, forward it or respond to it. Instead, contact us at 1-888-224-2710 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll confirm whether the email was from us or not.
- If you believe you've been a victim of fraud, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. As well, let your local police department know.
- Report instances of misleading or deceptive marketing practices to the Competition Bureau using their online complaint form or by phone at 1-800-348-5358.
- Report suspicious sales activities in your neighbourhood to Crime Stoppers.
Customers who have spotted a scam
Our concerned customers have shared their stories in the news. Learn about their experiences and what to look out for:
- Port Coquitlam resident concerned about sales tactics (Tri City News)
- Homeowners beware: FortisBC warns of suspicious door-to-door sales (CTV News Vancouver, McLaughlin On Your Side)
- Unsolicited door-to-door furnace sales rep tells customer false information to enter contract (Global News, Consumer Matters)
Find more news
Subscribe to FortisBC news
Our newsletters provide energy-saving tips, project news, contests and more for residential and commercial customers.