What is phishing and how can I protect myself against it?

Article author
Cogeco support
  • Updated

In this FAQ, you will learn how to:

What is phishing?

Phishing is a technique that cyber criminals use to get your personal information, such as your passwords or credit card numbers, by pretending to be someone you trust. For example, you may receive an email that looks like it’s coming from Cogeco, but when you click the link within the email, it actually takes you to a fake Cogeco page that collects your data when you log in. They could then use this to send messages to other people in your name, or even access more of your personal info. They may also ask for credit cards or other payment information. Phishing can also be done through a phone call or text message.

Please note that Cogeco will never ask you to confirm personal information by email or text. Furthermore, we will never ask you to pay the shipping fees to receive a prize won as part of a contest or promotion.

Recognizing a fraudulent message

Phishing messages will often try to get you to act fast before you have a chance to think, either by enticing you with an offer, or by threatening you.

In these cases, the phishing email or text will probably:

  • Urge you to act fast by informing you that you won a contest or that your account will be deactivated if you do not confirm your personal information quickly.
  • Provide a link to your bank, Internet service provider or a reputable business so you can claim the prize or reactivate your account. In reality, this link leads to a fake but convincing website. This is why you should never click on these links.

In the message, you can also look for:

  • Poor vocabulary
  • Non-standard phone numbers (too many digits or not enough)
  • A service provider you do not know, or from a company with which you do not do business
  • An email address that is just slightly different than the ones you’re used to seeing (e.g., email@c0gec0.com)
  • Unfamiliar tone or greetings

Here’s an example of phishing on a webpage:

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Protecting yourself against fraud

  1. Use an anti-spam/anti-phishing filter

    The first line of defence against phishing is an anti-spam/anti-phishing filter. Cogeco Webmail has a built-in spam filter to minimize the amount of spam messages in your inbox.

    Cogeco Security services, available with any of our Internet packages, also includes a Secure Browsing feature to prevent you from visiting fraudulent websites.

  2. Never click on a suspicious link

    If you’ve recognized a suspicious email, call or text message, or if you have any doubts:
    • Don’t click on any of the links provided
    • Don’t reply to the email
    • Don’t open any attachments

Note: If you’re unsure about visiting a site from a link, try searching for it on the web instead.

Reporting fraudulent emails

With the latest version of Cogeco Webmail, you can use the Mark as Spam feature to report suspicious messages and move them to your Spam folder at the same time.

If you’re not using Webmail, please forward any suspicious messages to security@cogeco.net and delete the email after you have forwarded it.

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