This email, which purports to be from major Canadian telecommunications company Bell Canada, claims that due to a problem with a recent bill payment, the recipient is required to update his or her billing information or risk an interruption of service.
The recipient is advised to follow a link in the message to confirm and update billing information.
However, the message is not from Bell Canada. Instead, it is a phishing scam designed to steal personal and financial information from Bell Canada customers. Those who follow the link included in the message will first be taken to a fake login web page constructed to closely resemble the genuine Bell Canada website. Once a victim “logs in” on the fake webpage, he or she is then taken to a web form that requests sensitive information including credit card details, social insurance number and address and contact details. The web form is also designed to resemble a genuine Bell Canada webpage and includes seemingly legitimate logos, copyright information and secondary links.
Any information submitted on the fake web pages can be subsequently collected by Internet criminals and used for credit card fraud and identity theft. And, by using the login details provided on the fake login page, these criminals will also be able to access the victim’s real Bell Canada account and steal even more personal information.
Bell Canada does not send unsolicited emails that ask customers to follow a link and provide personal information.
Phishing scams such as this can often be identified by poor or unusual spelling and grammar. For example, in this instance, the scammers have rather amusingly greeted their targets with the words “Dear costumer”, a greeting perhaps more fitting to a theatrical supply agent than a telecommunications customer.
Moreover, a careful examination of the link provided in this scam message reveals that the link does not point to a “bell.ca” web address as expected but to an entirely unrelated website. And, the fake login page and web form are not hosted on a secure (https) website as would always be the case if such pages were genuine.
Internet users should be very cautious of any unsolicited email that asks them to click a link or open an attachment and provide private information such as credit card or banking details, login usernames and passwords and other personal data such as social insurance numbers and contact details. Legitimate companies are very unlikely to request such information via an unsolicited email and any email that makes such a request should be treated with suspicion.
If you receive a suspect email, do not click on any links in the message or open any attachment that it may carry. Do not reply to the email. If you are unsure if an email is genuine, always contact the company or financial institution directly to check before providing any personal information.
This e-mail has been sent to you by Bell Canada to inform you that we were unable to process your most recent payment of bill. This might be due to either of the following reasons:
1. A recent change in your personal information. (eg: billing address, phone) 2. Submitting incorrect information during bill payment process.
Due to this, to ensure that your service is not interrupted, we request you to confirm and update your billing information today by clicking here.
If you have already confirmed your billing information then please disregard this message as we are processing the changes you have made.
After you confirm your billing information you can use your account as usual.
Thanks for your co-operation.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!