What is spam or phishing?
Phishing is an email fraud technique used to obtain the personal information of individuals to steal their identity.
When you receive this type of email, you are asked to provide information such as your username, password or date of birth. It often contains an attachment or a hyperlink to a fraudulent site that looks like a real site owned by a recognized company or institution. It could be your bank, your credit company, a government department, etc.
The terms used in a phishing email are generally alarmist and urge you to act quickly, such as: “Important message,” “Urgent,” “Alert,” etc. This technique is used by fraudsters to unsettle their victims so that they give out their personal information spontaneously as an emotional response.
Furthermore, while there are a lot of real contests on the Internet, there are also fake ones, which tell you that you have won a game console, an iPad or a cell phone. You are promised that you will receive it by simply providing some personal information. Sometimes it’s a scam to get your information. It is important to be vigilant and to carefully choose the information you agree to give.
Warning: You should know that banks, police, and the majority of businesses do not communicate with their clients by email or by phone to obtain information of this nature.
What are the risks of these emails?
Spam can be an inconvenience because it overloads your networks and email inbox. They’re not dangerous as long as you don’t open them. So, it’s important to never click on an email link or attempt to reply to the email! By clicking on the link, you will be redirected to an exact copy of the website on which you normally do business, and all the information you enter on that fake site will be in the hands of skillful fraudsters.
As for contests, most of the time, you don’t know the company that organizes the contest and you don’t know what it will do with the personal information you provide. The contest may be perfectly legitimate, but it may also be organized by fraudsters who will sell this information to companies who will flood you with spam. In this case, you will never receive the promised gift.
How can I protect myself from these emails?
A foolproof automatic protection system doesn’t really exist. However, certain precautions can be taken to protect you from this type of email. In all cases, vigilance is crucial!
- Avoid opening attachments from an unknown sender. Delete the email immediately and report it as spam.
- If you find the content of an email sent by a known sender strange or inappropriate, delete the email and contact the sender another way.
- Do not include confidential information in your emails.
- Avoid entering your email address on a promotional website or contest. This can be a method of obtaining valid addresses for spam campaigns.
- Avoid responding to spam, even to get off the list. The unsubscribe link can be used to validate your address. You could receive even more messages afterwards. Delete the message and mark it as spam.
- Do not respond to emails that require urgent or immediate action and announce an imminent consequence.
- Do not click on the suggested links, open any attachments or share any personal information.
- Even if you know the company that sent the email, avoid clicking on any links. Instead, enter the official website address directly in your web browser.
- Check the quality of writing: phishing emails often contain spelling mistakes.
- Update your software, including Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, your antivirus and operating system.
- Before completing online transactions, always check the reliability of the company site.
Good to know
How do I report spam?
You can notify us by forwarding the problem email to one of the addresses below: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you use Videotron’s Webmail, a “Spam” button in the inbox allows you to report spam. For other types of Internet abuse, you can also contact us at the following link: https://www.videotron.com/vcom-ext/secur/forms/sac/signalerAbus?locale=en
We deal with reports attentively and take action to crack down on hackers and fraudsters.