Door to door and digital scams: How to protect yourself
January 22, 2019
Updated May 4, 2022
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. Every year, FortisBC receives a 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:
1. 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.
2. FortisBC does not perform unscheduled inspections.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.
3. Our representatives will always carry FortisBC identification.Always ask for photo identification and get the name of the person offering the services and the business or firm they represent.
4. If you ask the salesperson to leave, they must leave.If you ask the salesperson to leave, they must leave right away. If you feel unsafe, call your local police department.
5. Do not provide your personal informationWhen 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.
Five ways to report suspicious activity:
1. Contact FortisBC to verify a representative.If you receive a suspicious visit from someone claiming to be a FortisBC representative, call us. You can be certain you’re speaking to a FortisBC customer service representative if you contact FortisBC at 1-888-224-2710.
2. 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 [email protected] and we’ll confirm whether the email was from us or not.
3. Report potential cases of fraud.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.
4. Report instances of misleading marketing practices.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.
5. Report suspicious sales activities.You can 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:
- Burnaby resident warns about fake Fortis employees at door (Burnaby Now)
- 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)