Service Canada says people should never click on links or provide personal or banking information in response to text messages or emails that they didn’t ask for, or don’t know the sender. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel)

Service Canada says people should never click on links or provide personal or banking information in response to text messages or emails that they didn’t ask for, or don’t know the sender. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel)

Watch out for energy rebate scam

Phishing scam targets Albertans

Albertans waiting for their provincial electricity and natural gas rebates are the target of a new scam.

Service Alberta says it has received reports of texts claiming to be from the provincial government offering a $300 energy rebate. But government will not be notifying Albertans about the rebate by text.

“The text also contains a URL that has “Service Alberta” in it. Albertans who receive this message or any other electronic message claiming to offer energy rebates should not click any links or provide any personal or banking information,” says a Facebook post by Consumer Protection Alberta.

“Text scammers can use spoofing technology to make a text appear that it is coming from a local or Alberta number, so do not trust the number or any name that may appear as they can be easily spoofed/faked.”

Service Canada says people should never click on links or provide personal or banking information in response to text messages or emails that they didn’t ask for, or don’t know the sender.

Related:

NDP criticizes government for rebate delays

Earlier this year the UPC promised Albertans a $150 rebate on electricity bills, and a natural gas rebate after energy bills soared.

NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley said while the scammers are at fault for trying to defraud the public, the UCP has created a lot of confusion surrounding the rebates.

“I think that confusion can potentially leave people vulnerable because they do know there’s a rebate coming but the government has been extremely short on details,” Ganley said.

She said government has not delivered on the rebates, and the timelines have changed multiple times. The electricity rebate could possibly be out by June or July, and there are still no details on the natural gas rebate.

“What people need most is help. A lot of people are just hanging on.”

The NDP wrote the auditor general on Tuesday requesting a performance audit of the rebate programs that have failed Albertans.

“The Government of Alberta is making money off of high energy prices, and the utility companies are making money, but families are really struggling. Why can’t the UCP get these modest rebates out the door?” asked NDP finance critic Shannon Phillips.

Related:

Alberta proposes bill to update electricity system, end controversial power pool

For more information about fraud prevention visit www.alberta.ca/fraud-prevention.aspx.

Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim or fraud, or suspected fraud, should report it to local police, or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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