Digital security and fraud
There are many types of digital fraud.
- Phishing is a type of online scam where someone deceives you into doing something you normally wouldn’t do such as click on a link, open an attachment or provide personal or financial information so they can steal from you.
- Malware is a file or code, often referred to as a virus, that infects, explores, or steals information on your computer or mobile devise without your knowledge
- Identity takeover is when someone uses your personal information to access your energy account. This usually involves obtaining your email and password and then updating your password so you no longer have access to your account.
We take your security very seriously, and as part of our security measures we regularly scan for personal information associated with your Powershop account that may have been leaked online.
A scam might occur when someone pretends to be from an energy company claiming you owe money, they may ask you to make a payment immediately to avoid disconnection.
- Text or SMS messages that include a link or ask for personal information
- Emails can often look like the real thing but watch for links and attachments designed to take your money
- Phone calls making it sound urgent that you act now or try and convince you to give them information or to access your computer.
It’s important to remember we will never ask for your password or threaten to disconnect you within 24 hours.
- Stop – Does the text, email or call seem strange? If so, hang up, or don’t respond.
- Think – Contact the organisation the message claims to be from via their website, secure app or phone and check if it was legitimate
- Protect – Act quickly if something does go wrong. Change your password and if you notice unusual activity contact your energy company.
If you suspect your identity’s been stolen, you should act quickly. Here are some organisations that can help:
If you are active online and interact with overseas websites, they may not be obliged to let you know if there has been a breach of your data. The easiest way to check is to use a service such as haveibeenpwned.com to find out if your personal data has been breached and what type of data was compromised.
Every device is different and it’s not always easy to detect however there are some common signs to look out for such as slow performance, random restarts, overheating, unusually high data usage, unfamiliar apps, battery running out fast and sometimes signs of activity in standby mode.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has some great advice on how to protect yourself online.
The Consumer Data Right (CDR) for Energy is a new regulatory regime in Australia that gives consumers greater control over their data held by businesses. The free service will enable consumers to authorise third parties (called Accredited Data Recipients or ADRs) to access their energy data. The aim of CDR is to improve and encourage innovations in new products and services, and competition across the industry.
CDR was initially applied to the banking sector, then expanded into the energy sector in November 2022, and will next apply to telecommunications. CDR provides a voluntary framework for safe and secure data sharing.
CDR will apply only to electricity accounts in the National Electricity Market (NEM), which covers the following states and territories – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT.
Eligible residential customers are those who:
- Are over 18 years old
- have an active or past energy account (being one closed less than 2 years ago)
- are Primary account holders
- are Secondary and joint account holders (note: these customers won’t be able to make a CDR request until May 2024)
Small business customers
Small business customers can grant consent for sharing CDR data if they fulfill the following requirements:
- The person providing consent on behalf of the small business must be registered as an administrator on the organisation’s energy account.
- The consent provider’s status must be confirmed as a nominated representative.
- Personal details (name, date of birth, address, ABN)
- Your electricity account number and plan details*
- Payment details, payment assistance details, and concessions
- Electricity usage and metering information (including solar)
- Billing history information*
*Please note, we currently have limitations on sharing certain types of CDR data for Electricity customers. We won’t be able to share invoicing and billing data and certain account plan and pricing information. This information will be available next year, and we will advise customers when this happens.
- First, you will need to give permission to a CDR-accredited third party (Accredited Data Recipient or ADR) to access your personal or business data held by Powershop.
- You will then be sent to Powershop’s CDR dashboard where we will verify your identity via a One Time Password (OTP) that we will send to the email/mobile* we have on file.
- Once we verify your identity, we will ask you to confirm and authorise the data you would like to share, who you are sharing it with, and whether it is a one-off transaction or an ongoing data sharing arrangement. You will also be able to see and manage the data you’ve consented to share and can withdraw your consent for a data sharing arrangement at any time.
- We will then collect, collate, and transfer the requested CDR data to your authorised ADR.
- You can then start using the ADR’s service. (For example, if you’ve decided to share your Powershop data with a comparison website, you’ll be able to receive accurate quotes and product comparisons based on your real data).
*Email from 1 November 2023, mobile from 1 May 2024
Yes. CDR was set up by the Australian Government and the process is led by the Treasury, working closely with, and monitored by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
There are strict protocols that apply to both the collection of CDR data and the use of that data under the Competition and Consumer Act and the CDR Rules.
There are also stringent accreditation criteria and privacy and information security standards that must be met by any third-party seeking access to CDR data, including being accredited by the ACCC.
No, sharing your data through CDR is entirely optional. Your data will not be shared through CDR unless you specifically request to be through a third-party ADR.
If you decide that you no longer want to share your CDR data with an accredited third party, you can make changes at any time through your Powershop CDR Dashboard.
Once you log into your Powershop CDR Dashboard, you go to the ‘Manage data sharing’ tab, and you can amend or stop any CDR data sharing requests instantly.
Our Approach We understand that times can be tough which can make it hard to keep up with your bills. If you are facing financial difficulties, we are here to help so please give us a call as soon as possible.
Our team will:
- always treat you with empathy and respect;
- try to provide you with more time to pay and/or payment plans – we will try our best to cater to your needs;
- provide you with assistance on how to lower your energy bills; and
- provide other forms of assistance to help you stay on top of your accounts.
It is important that you reach out so we can help.
If you are not in a position to speak with Powershop directly you can call and have a representative (e.g. financial counsellor or a friend) speak on your behalf, provided you give them authorisation to do so.
There are plenty of not-for-profit organisations who specialise in financial counselling and welfare assistance.
You may be eligible for a rebate/concession on your Powershop account. For more information on concessions, rebates or grants please check how to apply here.
Unfortunately there are instances where Powershop must take collection action to recover the costs of electricity in order to keep prices as low as possible for all customers. Powershop will only take this action following consistent failure by a customer to make payments towards amounts owed to Powershop.
Powershop may credit check customers. When assessing creditworthiness, Powershop rely on information from a number of sources which includes information disclosed to us by credit reporting bodies.
If you have any questions in relation to your credit report you can contact Illion Australia Pty Ltd on the details below:
Disconnection for non-payment
If you have outstanding bills on your Powershop account we will try our best to contact you to provide you with advice on how to lower your bills and to provide assistance in making payments on your account. If we have not been able to contact you and you have not contacted us, your electricity may end up being disconnected. Disconnection is always a measure of last resort to stop the amounts owing on an account increasing. It is crucial that if we notify you regarding an overdue account, you contact Powershop immediately so we can assist you with your account.
To avoid disconnection, please talk to us so we can help you.
If you have been disconnected by Powershop, you will need to contact us in order to organise reconnection of your electricity. You may be required to pay additional fees in order to be reconnected.
If you have not paid your Powershop account, not responded to any of our attempts to contact you, and have left Powershop – we may default list you with a credit reporting body, in accordance with applicable laws. Having a default listing against your name is essentially a flag to other businesses that you have not settled a debt.
A default listing may impact your ability to obtain credit in the future.
Like disconnection, this is something we do not like doing.
We’re here to help! As soon as you are facing payment difficulties, let us know by giving us a call on 1800 515 313.
If you have not yet missed a payment (your bill is not overdue), there are a number of options available which are designed to help you avoid falling behind. These options include:
- purchasing power in advance, which gives you access to better discounts and allows you to control how much you pay towards your account, and when you pay it;
- allowing you to pay equal regular amounts towards your account so you know exactly how much you need to pay, and when you need to pay it – rather than waiting for a bill; or
- extending the due date of your bill for one billing cycle once every twelve months.
If you have an outstanding balance that you will not be able to pay in full it is important that you contact Powershop as soon as possible so we can work together on setting up a payment arrangement. In setting up the payment arrangement we will take into account:
- the amount that you can afford to pay;
- any individual circumstances you are willing to share with us that are contributing to your payment difficulties;
- the current outstanding balance of your account, plus your current Powershop bill;
- your forecast energy usage and costs; and
- the amount to pay to avoid falling further into debt.
If you have missed paying a bill on time, we will offer you a tailored arrangement which is designed to assist you to manage ongoing energy costs, while repaying overdue amounts. This arrangement may include:
- advice and practical assistance to help you lower your energy costs, including by:
- putting you on suitable tariffs based on your usage patterns and payment history; and
- helping you reduce your energy usage; and
- giving you regular information on how you are progressing in lowering your energy costs;
- giving you advice on government and non-government assistance you might be able to access;
- options on a payment arrangement which will provide you with up to two years to pay off the arrears on your account; or
- if you are not in a position to pay your ongoing energy costs, placing repayments of arrears on hold for six months while you pay as much as you can towards your ongoing bills (any amount unpaid after that 6 months will be added to your arrears). During this period we will work with you to help you to try to reduce your energy use. At the end of the six (6) month period we will review your payment plan.
If you are struggling to keep up with your payment arrangement, it is important that you give us a call as soon as possible so that we can review your arrangement.
Unfortunately if you do not contact us to change your payment arrangement and/or do not adhere to the agreed payment arrangement, your energy may be disconnected.
Payment extensions are helpful for those customers who may be experiencing short-term financial difficulty and need an extension.
If you have not paid your bill in full by the due date, we will send you a notification via your registered email address advising you that we are going to make a debit from your default payment method. If you would like to delay this debit by up to five business days you can do so by logging into your Powershop online account and selecting ‘move the payment date’. Alternatively, feel free to give us a call on 1800 515 313 and we can arrange the extension.
If you need to extend beyond five business days, then you will need to give us a call on 1800 515 313.
A payment extension may not always suit you and/or Powershop, so once we better understand your situation we may determine an option that better suits both our needs.
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Winners of Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction Awards 2019-2021.
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