Fraudsters preying on Telus customers impacted by major email outage
A B.C. woman wants to warn others after she almost fell victim to a fraudster impersonating a Telus employee after the recent email outage.
Bev Evans is one of hundreds of Telus customers who couldn’t access her email for days after the company experienced an issue with its servers that took days to repair.
Some Telus customers impacted by the outage were notified about compensation — which is why Evans didn’t think twice at first when she got a phone call from someone claiming to represent the company.
“He made reference to an email I had received from Telus with regard to their email going down,” the Abbotsford resident said. “It was interesting to me how I so believed that I was talking to Telus.”
The scam artist tried to gain access to Evans’ computer, saying he wanted to send her money and have those funds transferred to a third party.
Instead of agreeing right away, Evans decided to contact the telecommunications company directly by phone. Telus then confirmed to her the call was a scam.
WATCH: (Aug. 17) Telus webmail service outage leaves customers fuming
“I got out of it just in time,” Evans said. “I would have never sent money or done anything with money, but someone else might if they think they are talking to Telus.
“Telus would never do that. They would never ask for money. They also wouldn’t go on to your computer.”
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says scammers use major events to take advantage of people.
The BBB recommends the following tips, many of which Evans followed:
- Carefully read all correspondence from businesses and organizations following a major event to get updates on the situation as well as to confirm how they will be contacting you in future.
- Look out for unusual requests — e.g. gaining remote access to your device, sharing financial information like credit card numbers, and sharing personal information like your social insurance number
- Beware of unusual payment methods — e.g. retail gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers
- Verify the identity of the person who contacts you, whether in person, by phone or email. Never let someone into your home unless you know who they are.
- Beware of unsolicited phone calls where the caller claims to be from a business you may be dealing with, e.g. Telus, and is asking you to verify your identity by sharing private information. They called you, so they should know who you are.
- When in doubt, contact the business directly using numbers from their website or correspondence you have received from them, e.g. an invoice, email, quotation, etc.
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