Some of these involve Facebook pages or emails from entities claiming to be OEB, or affiliated with or endorsed by the OEB. Some even falsely include the OEB’s name and logo. Others claim to offer rebates or to help consumers apply for financial assistance under energy bill payment assistance programs like the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) or the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). This is often accompanied by a false claim that a home energy assessment is needed for these programs, or a request for the consumers’ personal energy account information.
Here are some ways you can better protect yourself against these kinds of scams.
Be careful when responding to unsolicited emails, texts and phone calls about your energy services
- Natural gas and electricity customers cannot be disconnected for non-payment between November 15th and April 30th. If you receive an email, text message or phone call from someone posing as a utility representative and threatening to disconnect your power during this winter disconnection ban period, do not respond. Contact your utility directly using the phone number displayed on your bill.
- The OEB will not contact you for any reason unless you have reached out to us first.
- Always be cautious about sharing your personal information or utility account information with anyone.
What you should know about Energy Bill Payment Support Programs:
- A home energy assessment, audit, inspection or home visit is not required to apply for the OESP or LEAP.
- Please visit oeb.ca/billhelp for more information about OESP, LEAP and special consumer protection rules for low-income customers. Remember: the OEB does not have an OESP Facebook page and will not contact you directly about the program unless you contact us first.
- The OEB is not affiliated with any private energy services companies. We do not deliver heating and cooling or any and other home energy services.
Use safe online practices
- Be vigilant and use safe web browsing and email practices. Make sure you are accessing a safe and trusted source, such as your utility’s website exactly as it is displayed on your bill.
- Know who you are dealing with. If someone calls you, ask for the name of the person you are speaking with, the company they represent and their phone number. If someone is at your door, ask to see identification, like a company ID badge or a business card, with the person’s company information on it. If you are concerned, contact the police, your utility and see our tips for what you should know before signing an energy contact.
Ask for help:
- To report a possible scam contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll-free at 1-888-495-8501.
- If you are concerned about any suspicious communications on social media, by email, by phone or door-to-door contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-632-2727 (toll-free within Ontario) within the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
- Learn more about how the OEB protects consumers.
- Find out if you qualify for energy bill payment assistance programs.
- Learn more about the winter disconnection ban.
- Learn more about the OEB’s customer service rules that protect energy consumers, including payment arrangements that distributors must make available for residential customers that are behind on their energy bills: