Are you cyber smart? How to spot an online scam

Online scams have become more sophisticated in recent years, with cyber criminals taking advantage of our growing reliance on technology in our daily lives.

We’ve shared a few reminders below so you can make cyber smart decisions and protect yourself, your families and your businesses from cyber threats.

If you’re ever unsure about any communications you receive from us, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Customer Care team at 1-800-428-6230. If you feel threatened in any way, always contact your local police.

General scam reminders

  • We never disconnect customers with little or no notice. We have several points of contact with customers who fall behind paying their power bill. If your account is past due, you will receive a written notice of your account status, with steps on how to avoid disconnection of service.

  • We never require payment via pre-paid credit card, PayPal or digital currency.

  • We never contact customers about billing, refunds or account details via text message.

  • We don't collect a separate payment for equipment or installation. We don’t charge extra fees during storms or for smart meter installations.

  • Scammers may pretend to be an employee or partner of NS Power. They could reach out by phone, email, text message, or even by showing up at your door. Scammers are looking to obtain personal information such as passwords, account/credit card details or money.

Phishing emails

Whereas scams aim to sell you unwanted products or get you to send money, phishing is a disguised email specifically designed to obtain personal and sensitive information or install malware.

Phishing emails typically use highly emotional or charged language. The scammers pretend to be a trusted source, often a real person (i.e. a colleague) or a company (i.e. Nova Scotia Power).

Our e-bill notification emails are sent from home@nspower.ca. We never include attachments. The body of the email provides links to our website (https://www.nspower.ca) and prompts customers to log in to MyAccount – our secure customer portal (https://myaccount.nspower.ca/)

What you should do:

  • Check the sender’s email address. Don’t click on links, open attachments, or download photos or documents if the sender is unknown.
  • Don’t respond directly to the email or any phone number included in the message.
  • Never provide money, credit/banking information, or personal information to a suspicious email.

Passwords

A weak password puts you at risk. When updating or creating your MyAccount password, make sure you follow the tips below.

What you should do:

  • Use a strong password with at least 15 characters and a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.
  • A good password shouldn’t have personal relevance to you (i.e. your pet’s name, your date of birth, your username, your account number or previous passwords).

Malicious URLs

A URL is the address of a website or file on the internet. Malicious URLs are written to closely resemble a legitimate site. They redirect you to a compromised site, install malware on your device, or trick you into sharing personal information (i.e. through a form or survey).

What you should do:

  • Always be cautious and double check links – malicious URLs can pop up in text messages, emails or on social media.
  • Keep your browser and operating system updated to the most current version. Modern versions have the latest built-in security features.

For more information on common customer scams, visit our Scam and Fraud Prevention page.

 

 

 


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