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Internet Fraud: Phishing

Police officers of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) want to make seniors aware of a scam used by criminals called phishing.


The purpose of phishing is to steal your personal and financial information in order to defraud you or steal your identity. The methods used can take the form of a phone call, an email, a text message or a fake website.

The scammer proceeds as follows:

  • They pose as a credible source, such as a representative of a government agency, a financial institution, a service provider (telephone, television, electricity, etc.), or even a company.
  • They send a message by e-mail or text message, asking you to click on a link to update your personal information, confirm a purchase, avoid having your account closed, claim an inheritance or lottery money.
  • They urge you to do it quickly and pressure you to act without giving you time to think, stating that this is your final reminder, your account will be closed, you will be sued or lose your refund.

The SPVM recommends some prevention tip for seniors or their relatives, to ensure their protection and provide possible recourses in case of fraud.


  • Be on the lookout for this scam by visiting the Scams by A-Z index on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website, under Phishing and Identity theft and fraud.
  • Ignore and delete unsolicited messages (emails, text messages, etc.) from people you don’t know and, most importantly, never open an attachment or click on a link in these messages.
    • Watch for clues that may help you identify a fraudulent message:
      • Impersonal salutation, such as Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Taxpayer
      • Spelling, grammar or syntax errors
      • A message that appears to come from a credible source, but whose email address or contact information is not the same as that of the source
  • Beware of messages that ask you to act quickly, or that sound too good to be true. Take the time to check with the organization concerned, using the phone number on a statement or their official website. Don’t hesitate to consult a family member, a close caregiver, or your local police department to validate their authenticity.
  • Remember that no government agency, financial institution, service provider or business will ever ask you for personal information via email or text message.


In case of fraud, contact your financial institution and your credit card company.

You can also contact the two national credit rating agencies and ask that a fraud alert be added to your credit file. To contact Equifax Canada, call 1-800-465-7166, and to contact TransUnion Canada, call 1-877-713-3393.

You can also file a complaint with your local police department. To contact your neighbourhood police station (PDQ), call 514-280-01XX (XX corresponding to the number of your PDQ). For any emergency, call 911.

Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to report the fraud by calling 1-888-495-8501 or go directly to www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.