We have been receiving numerous calls recently from non-customers who say they have received an unsolicited text message from International Power Systems Inc. (messages which have even used our logo illegally).

IPS did NOT send these messages.

These messages are likely being sent by scammers, and could potentially compromise your computer/cell phone if acted upon, so please do not click any links or engage with the senders.

Tips on Avoiding Fraud

Despite the prevalence and sophistication of scams, there are ways to lower your chances of being a fraudster’s next mark. Here are some tips on how to avoid that.

Be careful what you download!

  • Never open an email attachment or click a link in a text from someone you don’t know, and always use caution with attachments that have been forwarded to you—even if you know the sender. If it looks suspicious or is something your friend or colleague is unlikely to send, be wary. When in doubt, contact the person directly (and separately, without replying to the suspicious message) to confirm they sent the attachment or link—before you open or click on anything.

Be careful how you pay!

  • Never give your credit card number over the phone unless you initiated the call. Before you submit your card details online, make sure the website and payment page are legitimate. Unfortunately, you can be on a real e-commerce website and get directed to a fake checkout page if the website has been hacked. Pay attention to the website design: It should match the brand’s style, colors, and logo. Double-check the website's address in the address bar – does it look like the right address? Also, any web page that prompts you to enter personal or financial details (including your credit card number) should start with https:// (the “s” stands for “secure”) and have a green lock icon.
  • Credit cards have built-in fraud protection, so they’re usually the safest way to pay for something.
  • If you pay for something with a reloadable card or gift card (such as iTunes or Google Play), you won’t have much recourse. Remember that government offices and reputable companies will never ask you to use these payment methods.

Don’t click on or respond to unsolicited messages!

  • Never click on anything in an unsolicited email/text message. Instead, hover your mouse — without clicking the link — over text, links, and images to reveal the real destination (more on that below). Keep in mind that just because a link says something like “Sign into Microsoft Outlook”, it doesn't mean that’s where you’ll be directed!
  • Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unsolicited text, phone call, or email.
  • Remember that companies will never contact you to ask for your username or password. Always log onto the official website instead of linking to it from an unsolicited email or text.
  • If you weren’t expecting a message, look up the company’s phone number and call it directly to ask if the request is legitimate (don’t dial the number included in the message).

Make sure URLs (website addresses) are legitimate!

  • When possible, hover your mouse over text links and image links to see where they point, before you click. When you do so, pay close attention to the “root domain”—aka the real address behind a link. That’s the part of the URL that comes between the second-to-last dot and the first slash (the “second-to-last-dot rule”) (e.g. for https://www.amazon.com/, its the 'amazon.com' part.) Why is that important? It’s the only part of a URL that a scammer can’t change. So, while https://www.microsoft.com/ is a valid Microsoft address, https://www.microsoft.com.scam.co/ is NOT (in this example, the link would take you to the scam.co website, which might look like a legitimate Microsoft site, but isn't).
  • Keep in mind that images, design, text, and logos can all be manipulated to trick you, so check the URLs of the links (without clicking, of course) and the source of the email or message to find out if the message is legitimate.

Check out email addresses!

  • To check the source of the email, click the “Reply” button and see what appears in the “To” field (don’t send the message, of course). If the email is supposed to be from Microsoft Account Team, for example, but the address shows up as something like: "Microsoft Account Team" <department-service123_microsoft@outlook.com> (sneaky), or: <qrx%xoia2zrjj56@io1t.microsoft584.com> (obviously fake), it’s not legitimate.

Secure yourself online!

  • If a website you frequent offers two-factor authentication (2FA), use it. Always use strong, unique passwords, and store them with a trustworthy password manager. Finally, install reputable internet security software, keep it updated, and allow it to monitor your device continually.

The Bottom Line

It’s safe to assume that if anyone unsolicited is asking for your banking or personal information, you’re being scammed. You should never give out personal information to anyone on the internet who contacts you directly. If you have to make a financial transaction online, make sure you’re doing so on a secure server and through a reputable site. If you believe you’ve been scammed, immediately change all of your passwords and delete any malicious software you may have downloaded, and call your credit card company, if necessary. If you have been the target of a telephone, internet, mail or other type of scam and unwittingly provided personal or financial information, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: