Windsor's utility company is warning residents to hang up if they receive a phone call threatening disconnection.
Following Ontario's May 1 end to the moratorium on disconnections, people across the province have received calls from fraudsters telling them they need to make an immediate credit card payment in a bid to steal their personal information.
"That is not the way we do business," said EnWin CEO Helga Reidel. "We work very hard to help our customers avoid disconnection. We would never threaten a customer or demand their account or credit card information on the phone."
Windsor nightclub owner Tom Lucier is also spreading the word about the scam.
In a post on Facebook he shared his experience with a threatening caller.
"What was confusing to me was that I had paid not too long ago, but the amount of money that they asked for was almost exactly within $15 of my last bill, so it was very convincing," he explained. "They said that there was a shutoff notice and that somebody would be in the area within an hour, and that if I was going to pay, I needed to do it in only certain ways, so that it could be processed right away."
The language the caller used was "convincing," according to Lucier, who added he was later able to get his payment cancelled.
Information about payment for overdue bills can be found on EnWin's site and includes at least 10 days' notice before disconnection. The company will also contact a homeowner at least 48 hours before their power is shut off.
Staff at EnWin suggest people contact the utility if they are skeptical about a caller — their representatives will not ask for credit car or account numbers over the phone.
"We take our responsibility to the community very seriously," said Reidel. "We hope to help customers recognize scams, and find a way to stop them."