Energy Matters – February 2018

Power Smart tip!

Keep your home air vents clean and unobstructed for proper air flow.

Included with this month’s Energy Matters:

Text scams — don’t be a victim

A new year has brought a new text phishing scam to our customers’ smartphones.

Over the past month we’ve received dozens of calls and emails about unsolicited text messages popping up on customer’s phones that say Manitoba Hydro has sent funds to them for deposit.

The text message has the appearance of an Interac e-transfer and may have a Manitoba area code associated with it. Customers are asked to click on a link to access their “account refund” by submitting their bank information.

While these texts have the appearance of being legitimate, they often have spelling, grammatical and formatting errors.

A variation of this scam involves receiving a fake statement in an email that says you have an outstanding energy bill and can pay it by supplying your personal bank information.

These texts and emails are solely aimed at getting access to a customer’s personal bank account information so the perpetrator can commit financial crimes.

Many customers who contact us about these scams recognize the texts and emails they received were bogus—they let us know because they don’t want others to be misled.

We do our best to notify our customers about scams. But we also need your help. Please tell your family and friends about these scams so that more people are aware and don’t become victims.

How to protect yourself

  • Do not click on any links provided in the text or email.
  • Do not reply to the text/email.
  • Never provide any personal or banking information.
  • Trust your instincts. If a text or email message seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • We do send text messages to our customers to remind them to pay overdue bills. We do not include any personal or account information in those texts. They are simply requests for those customers to contact us by phone or email to make payment arrangements.
  • If you’re unsure whether the email is real or a scam, contact us at 1-888-624-9376.

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If the lights go out…

Winter weather can be unpredictable. A blizzard or freezing rain can disrupt electrical service without warning. Your power may be off for a few hours or, in extreme cases, a few days. Be prepared in case your power goes out this winter.

  • Prepare an emergency kit and store it where it will be easy to find in the dark. Include items like a flashlight with extra batteries, candles, matches and a portable radio. Also keep a portable battery charger for your smart phone handy and always charged.
  • If your power goes out, check if your neighbours have electricity. If they have power, check all fuses or circuit breakers to rule out electricity issues inside your home.
  • Once you’re sure it’s an outage, report it to Manitoba Hydro at 1-888-MBHYDRO or on your smart phone. You can follow Manitoba Hydro on Twitter to receive power outage updates.
  • Never use a barbecue or generator while indoors or in a confined space. They can create dangerous levels of toxic carbon monoxide quickly. This also applies to any other fuel-burning equipment that is not connected to a chimney or vent.
  • Turn off all electrical appliances when your power goes out. Pay special attention to appliances you may have been using when the power went out – like the stove or oven.
  • Unplug electronic equipment to protect it from a voltage surge when power is restored.
  • Keep one light turned on so you will know when the electricity is back on.
  • If you see a downed power line, report it to Manitoba Hydro immediately at 1-888-624-9376.
  • In the event of a power outage, our crews are working to restore your electrical service as quickly and as safely as possible.

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WIN BIG! Support Manitobans with disabilities

The Easter Seals™ Million Deals Lottery is BIG! Win up to $1 million cash! Buy three tickets, get three free today. Proceeds help over 47,000 children, youth and adults with disabilities in Manitoba.

Call 204-988-3333, visit Easter Seals Million Deals Lottery website or email Easter Seals.

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Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba

CNCM is a charitable organization dedicated to helping students learn, grow and succeed by providing funding and support for breakfast, snack and lunch programs at approximately 240 schools in Manitoba. Help us reach every child.

Join us for lunch Wednesday, March 14 at our 6th annual Stone Soup fundraiser to celebrate with 12 of the finest local chefs — 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Manitoba Hydro Place, 360 Portage Ave.

For more information visit Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba website or follow us on social media and search #StoneSoup2018.

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