April 14, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Fraudsters are waiting for an opportunity to trick you

Fraudsters are waiting for an opportunity to trick you

Fraudsters who have hijacked the Hydro-Québec name to extort money from victims of power outages via text message monitor the news for a small chance to dip into your bank account.

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“The fraudsters are well organized. They are not specifically targeting Hydro, but any event that affects news and sensitive strings of money,” explains a consultant from a large computer security firm, himself an expert in SMS. , who prefers to remain anonymous.

Pledge of money

Over the past few days, many citizens have reported text messages (SMS) informing them that financial compensation has been issued by the state corporation.

The content of the short text message may differ from person to person, but always ends with a hyperlink that people are invited to click on to claim their compensation.

This is obviously cheating. Clicking on the link can get you into trouble and put your personal information at risk.

Frédéric Langis got the text message, but didn’t take the bait.

“I immediately saw it was fraudulent and never thought to click on the link. But I told myself: to take advantage of this situation, you have to be really low to take advantage of vulnerable people after a crisis,” he said.

Working in financial services, Frederick has had his share of fraud and identity theft training. “We have a lot of these text messages. Fortunately we know the subject,” he said.

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What happens when we click?

Usually, when you click on this type of fraudulent link, you will see nothing but fire.

“It will take you to the wrong portal. It’s done very well, you see all the logos of the banks and if you click on yourself, they ask for your contact details, explained the consultant. The problem is, from the start, you’re on a server that belongs to cheaters. »

“They can mimic bank portals — and that’s easy for a web developer to do — but you’re still on their server. They’re waiting to get your information,” he says.

Not really just hydro

“This type of fishing attempt is frequent, almost every week,” said Caroline des Rosiers of Hydro-Québec.

“This is in no way related to the hacking attempt that targeted us a few days ago,” she said. Such fraud attempts are frequent and target customers of many companies, not just Hydro-Québec.

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