Protect Yourself Against Scams and Fraud

Beware! Scams targeting electricity customers are becoming increasingly common across North America. The most common scams involve a telephone call from someone claiming to be from Guelph Hydro (or the electrical utility in the targeted area) who says that the customer's account is overdue and, if payment is not made immediately, electricity will be disconnected in the next half-hour.

The caller then demands payment in one of the following ways:

  • Prepaid credit card
  • Wire transfer
  • Gift cards
How to Identify a Fraudulent Call
  • Tends to target small businesses, such as restaurants or beauty salons and spas
  • Comes at time of day when being without electricity would be particularly troublesome to the business, such as right before the lunch or dinner rush for a restaurant
  • Comes at a time when the customer service department at the utility is likely closed or close to closing, such as at the end of the day or before or during a holiday
  • Comes from a 1-800 number, and may display the name "Guelph Hydro", or "Hydro"
  • If you call back the displayed number, the call is answered "Guelph Hydro", "Hydro", Disconnections Department", or something similar
  • The amount that is "overdue" is usually around $1,000 to $1,500 
Guelph Hydro Process for Contacting Customers with Overdue Accounts

Since Guelph Hydro does contact customers for payment of overdue accounts, it may it important to understand our process in order to recognize a scam call if you get one.

The following is the process Guelph Hydro follows for collection of accounts that are overdue:

  • Our credit department only makes calls Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Guelph Hydro does not have a "Disconnections Department"
  • Guelph Hydro does not call from a 1-800 number
  • Guelph Hydro would never demand immediate payment using a pre-paid credit card, gift card or PayPal.
  • Guelph Hydro does not accept wire transfer payments

Guelph Hydro makes every effort to contact customers before disconnecting service, including mailing a written notice, hand delivering a disconnection notice, making phone calls and, if service is about to be disconnected, knocking on the door to contact the customer in person.

What to Do If you Receive a Fraudulent Call
  • Do not provide account information, bank information or credit card information 
  • Do call Guelph Hydro Customer Service 519-822-3010 to report the call and verify the status of your account
  • Report the incident by submitting an online report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or by calling 1-888-495-8501.