Don’t take the bait! Stay informed and remain vigilant to avoid attempts at phishing by scammers to steal your personal information and/or your money.
Email or text fraud
Phishing is a common type of email and text fraud. It consists of sending a mass mailing by email or text and pretending to be a legitimate company (e.g., Hydro-Québec). The primary objective is to obtain the recipients’ personal or financial information in order to steal their identity and their money.
How to recognize a fraudulent email or text
It can be difficult to recognize fraudulent emails and texts because criminals are constantly perfecting their methods. Nevertheless, phishing emails and texts often share the following characteristics:
- The text contains spelling mistakes 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 email 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).
Remember that Hydro-Québec never issues refunds or compensation by text or email. And no compensation is paid in connection with power outages or service interruptions.
Stay alert at all times! If you have the slightest doubt about the validity of an email with the Hydro-Québec logo and colors or a text purporting to be from Hydro-Québec, do not click on any links or open any attached files.
Instead, go to the company’s official Website by entering hydroquebec.com in the address bar of your Internet browser. From there, you can safely access your Customer Space.
How to protect yourself
- Do not answer unsolicited emails or texts requesting personal, confidential or financial information.
- Do not respond to emails or texts requesting immediate action and that warn of serious consequences if you do not respond.
- For email, protect your computer with antivirus software, a spyware filter, a spam filter and a firewall.
- Do not click on any links provided in a suspicious email or text message. Instead, enter the company’s official Website address directly into your Internet browser (e.g., hydroquebec.com).
What to do if you are a victim of phishing
- Help us fight phishing and cybercrime by transferring suspicious text messages to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security at the following number: 7726.
- Send a copy of the email or text to Surveillance.Fraudes@hydro.qc.ca to let us know. Please include your name and a phone number where we can reach you if needed.
- Also get in touch with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre without delay.
Telephone and door‑to‑door solicitation
People posing as Hydro‑Québec employees are going door-to-door and using various pretexts to make sales or obtain information. Some merchants are also promising financial assistance and lower electricity bills. Hydro‑Québec does not partner with heat pump retailers or do any solicitation by telephone or door‑to‑door. It is important to be cautious and not provide any personal information. The Office de la protection du consommateur issued an advisory to warn people against this deceptive and illegal practice.
Hydro‑Québec does not send representatives door‑to‑door and will not ask you for information on your electricity bill. When in doubt, ask the person to identify themself (last name, first name, company name, telephone number, ID card, etc.) and verify the information. If you provided personal information or suspect you are a victim of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre immediately.
People have been making fraudulent phone calls pretending to be Hydro-Québec employees. If someone calls and asks for a credit card number to keep your power from being cut off, don’t give them any information. Note that Hydro‑Québec does not accept payment by credit card and never asks for credit card numbers.
Fraud regarding false job offers
You may receive a job offer that is allegedly from Hydro-Québec or one of its subsidiaries (e.g., Hydro-Québec International). If you answer, you will be asked to spend a certain amount of money to open your file and have it assessed.
This is a scam. The job offers and related promises are false. Use caution and do not send any personal information. In particular, do not send money.
All Hydro-Québec applications must be submitted to hydroquebec.com/emplois.