'Do not click on it': Text messages about overbilling fraudulent, SaskPower says
SaskPower says text messages informing customers of overbilling on their accounts are actually a scam.
According to the crown, the messages say customers are eligible for a refund because of a billing error.
“These texts are not from us. We don’t do business by text message. We don’t do e-transfers,” said SaskPower spokesperson, Joel Cherry.
The link provided in the message takes customers to a website that asks for banking information, which scammers could use to steal money or commit identity theft.
SaskPower said about three dozen customers have reported the scam to the crown corporation.
“If something doesn’t look right, it’s probably not. If all else fails and you’re concerned, feel free to contact our customer service centre,” Cherry said.
The Better Business Bureau said it also received calls reporting the scam, and also one impersonating Saskatoon Light and Power.
“Phishing scams have been around for ages. It’s just that the internet has helped them to flourish,” said Karen Smith, CEO of the Better Business Bureau.
The Bureau tracks phishing scams. Smith said if you’ve received the text message, whether you’ve been scammed or not, to report it to the bureau.
“It allows us to do more in-depth analysis, so we can then figure out who's getting scammed, what kind of scams [are happening] and work out a prevention measure,” Smith said.
Smith said scammers aren't going to disappear any time soon. The best thing you can do is to be aware of what's out there.
“I don't care if it’s in a text message, if it's in an email, [or] if it's an ad,” Smith said. “Do not click on it.”
Anyone who falls victim to a fraud should contact their bank, local police department and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
SaskPower says it takes confidentiality of its customers seriously. More information about protecting yourself from scams can be found here.
Anyone who falls victim to a fraud should contact their bank, local police department and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Anyone concerned about their account balance is encouraged to reach out to SaskPower directly at 1-888-757-6937.