Don't get scammed. Learn about phishing attacks and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
At no time will a customer receive an email, text message, or phone call from the Alberta government or Direct Energy Regulated Services regarding this program. All rebates will be applied to a customer's bill and will not require you to register to receive these rebates.
We regret that some customers have fallen victim to this fraudulent activity, and understand that sophisticated methods are being used by scammers.
If you think you've received a fraudulent text, email, or phone call or have been a victim of fraudulent activity, we recommend that you report it to the police or file a complaint online with Service Alberta. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can also be reached at 1-888-495-8501, however, local reporting is preferred.
Some of the most common scams include:
- Phishing - occurs when scammers impersonate familiar organizations (i.e. your bank or energy provider) or people you know by sending malicious emails or text messages (known as smishing) designed to get users to reveal financial information, system credentials, or other sensitive data.
- This includes social media phishing, where an attack is executed through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the purpose of stealing personal data or gaining control of your social media account.
- Phone scams (aka Vishing) - an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to be a representative of a business or organization asking for personal information or demanding that you take action regarding your account.
- Door-to-door scams - a suspicious person who shows up at your door and claims they work for your energy provider.
How to avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent activity:
- Don't give your personal or financial information in response to a request you didn't expect. Legitimate businesses won't call, email or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Insurance Number (SIN), bank account, or credit card numbers.
- Scrutinize emails and text messages before clicking. Hover over the originating email address or the link they want you to connect to. Make sure no alterations (like additional numbers or letters) have been made. This may reveal information that indicates it is a phishing email.
In most instances, legitimate organizations send text messages from the business telephone number, not from unidentified mobile numbers. Please be aware that government agencies do not perform transactions through text messaging. Any text message claiming to be from a government agency is a definite scam, including those that claim you've won a raffle or are eligible for a refund.
- Before typing sensitive data into a website, look twice at the URL at the top of the page. Is this the actual website? Are there extra letters in the address, or are there letters swapped out for numbers like an O for a 0?
- Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
- Beware of payment methods that can be hard to track. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or through a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
- Know your account status by checking your Online Account or calling customer service directly at 1-866-374-6299. Most energy providers send multiple notices if there's an issue with your account, so don't trust anyone demanding immediate payment or threatening to shut your power off.
More helpful tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent activity can be found at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca