Door to door and digital scams: How to protect yourself
January 22, 2019 by Diana Sorace
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 a gas disruption or emergency or to notify you if there will be 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)