What is a Phishing and How to Avoid a Scam

Whether you realize it or not, you have likely been targeted or know someone that has been targeted by a phishing scam. They are the most common cyber incursion today with scam attempts steadily increasing over the past several years. Good news is you can avoid falling into phishing traps with a few simple best practices.

What is it?

Phishing is one of the simplest forms of a cyber scam —most often coming in the form of an email or text message. The goal is to gain your personal identification information. This means passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers or anything that can be used to take your identity. Although email and text messages are the most common form, phishing has spread to social media and messaging apps.

How does it work?

These messages usually try to masquerade as a company you know and trust. To better pass for the company and further gain your trust, they will add little details like the company’s logo to the message. Logos for major organizations are often available online for anyone to download and use. Scammers will even go as far as creating a landing page (if not an entire website) that looks like it would belong to that company.

The content of the message will vary, but most often with an end goal of leading you to a fake website or to unwittingly download and install malware. Be aware there are long game schemes as well. Hackers using fake social media profiles have been known to build rapport with a victim over several months or even years. Once that trust is established, a ploy is used to get personal information handed over to them.

What can I do?

Knowing what phishing attacks are gives you an advantage and promotes remaining guarded    —especially with emails from unrecognized sources. The vast majority of these attacks have red flags to look out for. Some key indicators include:

Poor spelling and grammar. Basic errors are common in messages. Official correspondence from major organizations are likely to be professionally written.

Suspicious website URLs. Fake websites are created to lead victims to. These websites (like the messages) will have details that seem off. Don’t brush it off. Take time to give the link a second examination and look for text that doesn’t seem to fit.

A strange sender address. This is something that usually can’t be faked. Even when everything in the email looks accurate, including a proper logo, professionally written message and correct company information below, the sender address could be the giveaway.

Offers too good to be true. “Your subscription is ending soon. Click below for a lifetime subscription for only 99¢ now available for a limited time.” If you find this in your inbox, chances are it really is too good to be true.

Below is an example of a previous email sent to our customers by a scammer. Look closely and see if you can find some indications this is a fake.


At a glance, this could pass for an official correspondence from Reliance Connects. It’s not until you look closely at the details that you realize there is something phishy about this email and doesn’t sit quite right with you. Well, you would be correct. We have highlighted some of the key indicators found in this message below.




One of the best things you can do is listen to your instincts. Even if you can’t peg exactly what is wrong or bothering you with the message. Call the company’s official number that you have used in the past and double-check the validity of the message. You could be doing yourself a huge favor.



Covid-19 Update April 3, 2020

Dear Customers,

We are reaching out to remind you Reliance Connects is here to serve you during these unprecedented times. Our offices are staffed to assist you but remain closed to the public for the well-being and safety of you and our employees.

If you need to make a payment, we want to remind you of your options:

For the first 2 options you will need your account number, please check your statement or call or email us for assistance.

  • Login to Smart Hub via our website under Billing
  • Download our Smart Hub app
  • Call to sign up for ACH/Auto pay with your checking account

If you are experiencing a financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19, we are adjusting to allow extra time for you to pay. Please call or email us to communicate your needs or to set up payment arrangements.

If you have any questions or need help accessing your account online, or need to discuss your account- please contact us at info@rconnects.com or call your local office.

  • Estacada Office: 503.630.4213
  • Corbett Office: 503.695.2202
  • Elkton Office: 541.584.2224
  • Haines Office: 541.856.3661
  • Mesquite/Arizona Office: 702.346.5211
  • Antelope 541.489.3402

In the days ahead, we will continue to monitor federal and state mandates and the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our industry. We thank you for being a valued customer and we are proud to serve you.

Your Reliance Connects Service Team

Covid-19 Update March 20, 2020

Dear Customers,

What a week it has been! The health and welfare of you our customers and our employees continue to be of the utmost importance to us. We remain open and will continue to provide service to you throughout this event.

We are still asking our customers to please refrain visiting the offices in person, if possible. There are many ways to communicate with us outside of a personal visit:

Email us at info@rconnects.com or Call your local office at the numbers listed below:

  • Estacada Office: 503.630.4213
  • Corbett Office: 503.695.2202
  • Elkton Office: 541.584.2224
  • Haines Office: 541.856.3661
  • Mesquite/Arizona Office: 702.346.5211
  • Antelope 489.3402

Call tech support:

  • Estacada/Corbett: 503.630.8909
  • Mesquite/Arizona: 702.346.0040
  • All other areas: 1.866.894.4657

Call in to make payments with your bank card or checking account. We will continue to be sensitive to customer needs. If you need more time to pay or need new service at your home, please call us.

We want to remind you to support local, order takeout, buy gift cards, order online from your local vendors when possible. Your local Chamber is a good resource to get information of open restaurants.

We live in an amazing community and we are confident we will get through this together. We appreciate your understanding and support while we continue to navigate this new uncharted territory.

Thank you for being a valued customer of Reliance Connects

Covid-19 Update March 17, 2020

Dear Customers,

Over the past few days, we have all seen an impact within our communities due to the effects of the potential presence of COVID-19. As this situation evolves, all of us are assessing how to best keep ourselves and those around us healthy and safe.

Our staff has already taken steps to ensure that all our customers continue to receive reliable and dependable service during this time. It is important to let you know that we have put into place proactive and measured steps to maintain our goal of providing reliable service.

We are asking our customers to please refrain visiting the offices in person, if possible. There are many ways to communicate with us outside of a personal visit: 

Email us at info@rconnects.com or call your local office directly.

  • Estacada Office: 503.630.4213
  • Corbett Office: 503.695.2202
  • Elkton Office: 541.584.2224
  • Haines Office: 541.856.3661
  • Mesquite/Arizona Office: 702.346.5211

Call tech support.

  • Estacada/Corbett: 503.630.8909
  • Elkton/Haines: 1.866.894.4657
  • Mesquite/Arizona: 702.346.0040

Payments can be made by:

  • Downloading and setting up your Smart Hub account here
  • Calling our office with your bank card or checking account information.
  • Dropping them into the external box at any time.
  • Sending them through the US Mail.

We also ask that if you have a pending installation or other in-home appointment and have a household member not feeling well or suspect that you or anyone in your home may have been exposed to the virus, please contact our office to reschedule our technician to install the service in your home for a later date.

For now, we will continue to practice social distancing. Our office and staff stand ready to serve you. Our goal is to keep our staff healthy so that they may continue to provide you with Internet, Video and Voice services for all your entertainment and connection needs throughout this time. The best way for us to do that is through the outlined safeguards above.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation while we all navigate this challenging time.

Thank you for being a valued customer.

Reliance Connects

What is a Solar Outage?

It’s not surprising that many people don’t notice or know when a solar outage occurs. After all, it only occurs twice a year for a very short period. With the next one occurring in the next few weeks, this article will dive into what exactly a sun outage is and address some common questions.

What is a Solar Outage?

Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, the sun passes directly in line with Earth communication satellites in geostationary orbit (which basically means satellites in space that move around the Earth at the same speed the Earth is spinning). These satellites are in Earth’s equatorial plane which is the midpoint between the two poles. The sun is a giant source of broadband electromagnetic radiation that over-powers the weaker broadband signals being broadcasted by the satellites to the Earth. The satellite dishes on Earth that normally receive the signals from the orbital satellites instead pick up the much stronger signals coming from the sun. These signals overwhelm the satellite decoders leading to a television signal disruption. What you end up seeing are pixelated images or a blank screen.

How long does it last?

This typically last between 10 and 45 minutes. The amount of disruption varies by location and size of satellite. Luckily, this happens during the day while most of us are at work. It can happen anytime between 11:00am and 5:30pm. Though, if you do happen to be home catching up on your favorite daytime shows, you will be impacted by this event. Once the sun is down, there are no problems. You can expect this to happen each day through the duration of the equinox, normally about a week or so. Again, this happens twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall.

Can I stop this from happening?

No. This is an inevitable event twice a year that we mostly need to bare. Unfortunately, it is out of the control of Reliance Connects and ask for patience as your service will return gradually as the sun continues its path across the sky. The worst disruption occurs when the sun is directly aligned with the satellites and lessens as it continues to move.

Will all my services be affected by this?

No. This will only affect tv service. Internet and phone services will remain intact during the solar outage. This event is not unique to Reliance Connects and will affect all TV service systems receiving signals from those satellites.

If you feel something else may be interrupting your service during this time or that it is lasting longer than it should, please do not hesitate to call us.

In Estacada & Corbett 503.630.8909

In Mesquite 702.346.5211

Call 811 Before You Dig

Last week I was sitting in my home office looking out the upstairs window. It was a beautiful day! Spring clearly well on its way. I looked over into neighbor’s backyard and saw him with a shovel and a pickaxe. It looked like he was getting a head start on some planting. About 20 minutes into his project, he had a pretty good size hole going. I watched him as he grabbed the pickaxe, raised it over his head and let it fly full swing. For just a moment nothing happened, he just stood there holding the handle. Then suddenly, a geyser erupted out of the hole! He had hit a water line and it was spraying everywhere, he was soaked in seconds. Clearly, my neighbor neglected to call 811 before digging.

What is 811?

Okay, so this story might be a little over exaggerated, but it does illustrate the importance of calling 811 before beginning any of those springtime digging projects. 811 is a nationwide phone number used to access local utility line locations. The CGA (Common Ground Alliance) is an organization that works to protect underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them. They promote the 811 call centers. There is one located in each state. They ask anyone planning a project that requires digging to dial 811 at least 48 hours before beginning, more if possible.

During the call, your information is taken down and forwarded to your local utility agencies where a professional locator will be sent out to the dig site and mark off areas that have utility lines hidden underground with flags. It is advised to use hand tools to dig with should you come within two feet of the marked off areas.

CGA estimate there are more than 20 million miles of utility lines buried below the surface across the United States. These lines include those for plumbing, electrical, communication and gas. Striking one of these lines has the potential to result in a service outage or severe bodily harm. Each type of utility line is represented by a specific colored flag. You can look up what each flag color represents here.

There is no cost to you to dial 811. Be sure you give 811 a call several days before you start a project. For more information visit:

In Oregon https://digsafelyoregon.com/

In Nevada http://call811.com/map-page/nevada

In Arizona http://www.arizona811.com/