Confirming Identity

**This featured case is one example of the concerns people have brought to us. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people involved.

Steve contacted us because SaskPower refused to provide him with power and did not believe him when he said that previous unpaid bills were due to a relative fraudulently using power in his name.

Steve was moving. When he contacted SaskPower to set up power, he was told he was $6,000 in arrears from a previous account, which would have to be paid first. In addition, there was an older unpaid account of about $500. He admitted owing the $500 but said the $6,000 was not his debt; that a relative had fraudulently set up an account in his name and did not pay the bills.
We contacted SaskPower and asked if it could check its records to determine the facts. Steve had previously told SaskPower that a relative had set up the account using Steve’s name and that he had reported this to the police. SaskPower had a record of the police file number. SaskPower also found that the mother’s maiden name on the account was not Steve’s but the relative’s mother’s maiden name. In addition, SaskPower found that the voice on a recording of the phone call that was made to set up the account did not match Steve’s voice; that it was “definitely different.”

SaskPower believed Steve was telling the truth and decided to open an account for him. He would not owe the $6,000, but would have to pay a security deposit, since his $500 debt was too old to collect.