Hydro-Québec is warning its clients to beware of new scams that are circulating around the province, using the utility company’s name.
The alert warns of e-mail, text, and telephone frauds whose “primary objective is to obtain the recipients’ personal or financial information in order to steal their identity and their money.”
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The company says scammers are asking clients for credit card information, contacting people pretending to be Hydro-Québec employees.
Fraudsters are also offering fake Hydro-Québec jobs, asking clients to open a file with personal information to get full access.
Attention aux textos, appels ou courriels frauduleux. Nous n’utilisons jamais ces modes de communication pour exiger un paiement par carte de crédit ou transmettre un remboursement.
— Hydro-Québec (@hydroquebec) July 22, 2019
“Stay alert at all times,” reads the company’s warning. “If you have the slightest doubt about the validity of an e-mail with the Hydro-Québec logo and colours or a text purporting to be from Hydro-Québec, do not click on any links or open any attached files.”
Hydro-Québec says phishing e-mails and texts often share the following characteristics:
- The text contains spelling mistakes and/or awkward phrasing.
- The sender refers to a fictitious problem, such as a late payment or a security breach involving your confidential information
- The sender insists on the urgent nature of the situation to make you take immediate action
- The links in the e-mail or text take you to a web page where you are asked to enter personal information (password, date of birth, social insurance number, or credit card)
Hydro-Québec has not specified how many people have been affected by the scams but reiterated that the company will never ask for a credit card number and wouldn’t ask for money during job applications.