Frauds and scams
We often get reports from our customers of being approached at their home, or contacted by phone, by someone who gives the impression they represent Manitoba Hydro.
In most cases, this unsolicited contact is an aggressive attempt to convince a customer to buy unnecessary services or products, or to send money for an unverified unpaid bill.
Scammers frequently target seniors living alone, but no one is immune from these practices. It’s important you recognize when you could be misled. Protect yourself and your money. Share this information with friends and family to keep them safe too.
Scam alert: refund text message
There’s a new text message scam that tries to get personal banking information from our customers. It’s a phishing scam that looks like an Interac e-transfer that tells you to get an account refund by clicking on a link and giving your bank account information.
This message is not from Manitoba Hydro — it’s a fraud. Never give any personal or account information out over the phone, or by email or text.
People knock on doors and insist on checking furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioners. They may pretend to be a Manitoba Hydro employee or they may claim that their business is working with or for Manitoba Hydro.
When someone comes to your door representing Manitoba Hydro, ask for their name and to see their ID card. Our employees:
- will have an official identification card with their name and photo;
- will approach you in a professional and courteous manner;
- will not mind if you take the time to confirm their identities for your safety;
- will not pressure you to allow them into your home, even for home appliance inspections;
- will never try to sell you any product or service;
We have partnered with the North End Community Renewal Corporation who go door-to-door in the North End of Winnipeg.
Ecofitt technicians go door-to-door in communities and neighbourhoods throughout Manitoba to offer on-the-spot, installation of water and energy saving devices to eligible customers. Ecofitt technicians carry Manitoba Hydro-issued identification badges. The devices and installation are free; technicians will not try to sell you anything.
Hetek Solutions field staff conduct leak surveys of Manitoba Hydro’s natural gas system in southern Manitoba. They also carry identification. They inspect all natural gas lines and services to residential homes, including gas meters, for any below-grade leaks.
Typical scam phone calls follow a pattern:
- The call originates from a toll-free number. In some cases, they falsify Caller ID to display our number.
- The caller asks a few questions, then states that your account is in arrears and must be paid immediately. Or they may offer to sell you a device or service to save money or energy.
- You are provided with payment options which include making a payment through a local retailer (often Safeway/Sobeys), paying through a PayPal account, wiring a cash payment via Western Union, or providing a credit card number.
We do make reminder phone calls to customers who are in arrears and we may demand payment to prevent disconnection of service.
- We do not accept payments over the phone.
- We do not accept PayPal or credit card payments.
- We do not ask you to wire money.
- We do not make cold calls to sell products or services.
Another scam involves emailing a fake energy statement that shows you have an outstanding bill. These emails are not from Manitoba Hydro. Your accounts and privacy have not been compromised in any way.
- Verify the identity of the sender by clicking on the sender’s name in the email.
- Do not click on any links provided in the email. If you have a paperless-billing, online account with us, review your account by logging into MyBill.
- Do not reply to the email.
- Never provide any personal or payment information via email.
- If you’re unsure whether the email is real or a scam, contact us.
We do send text messages to customers to remind them to pay overdue bills. We do not include any personal or account information in those texts. They are simply requests for those customers to contact us by phone or email to pay or make payment arrangements.
What to do if you are contacted
Your safety should always be your priority. If you ever feel threatened or concerned for your safety in any way, contact your local police.
Never share any personal information with someone whose identity you cannot verify.
If you have questions about a pending service disconnection, call our Credit & Recovery services at 204-480-5901.