Fraudsters target Nova Scotia Power customers over bogus unpaid bills

Nova Scotia Power has issued a warning about scammers posing as employees threatening to disconnect customers unless so-called overdue bills are paid.

Power customers threatened with disconnection if they don't hand over money

Nova Scotia Power says it has received reports of customers being contacted by scammers who threaten to disconnect their power if they don't pay so-called overdue bills. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Nova Scotia Power Inc. is warning its customers about three scams in the Halifax area involving demands for money in order to avoid having electricity disconnected.

The utility received reports Friday about a caller who tried to force customers to meet and pay money to avoid being disconnected. In another scam, customers were asked to call 1-800-728-9720 for payment of an overdue bill. In a third instance, a man went into a business with a false invoice and tried to force the owner to pay it to avoid disconnection.

Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Maeghan Murphy said it doesn't appear the suspects are targeting a specific location or demographic group, so customers should generally be on the lookout.

"We've received 15 [reports] so far. The in-person scams have been male. The phone scams have been a mix of male and female," she said.

"It is not uncommon for scammers to start up these types of things around the holiday season, with people being so busy. But the approach to ask to meet in person is definitely something we haven't experienced before and … I believe going into the business is new."

Bogus 1-800 number

The bogus 1-800 number is answered with an automated message that does not mention Nova Scotia Power's name, Murphy said.

No customers so far have paid any money to the suspects.

The company encourages people who have been targeted to contact police and report the incident.

Murphy said customers can call the customer care centre at 1-800-428-6230, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or email anytime at home@nspower.ca to confirm if information is legitimate.