FAQ — Email phishing attack at the Ministère de la Justice du Québec

Press releases (In French)

- September 10, 2020 : Le ministère de la Justice du Québec fait le point sur les tentatives d'hameçonnage par courriel
- August 31, 2020 : Le ministère de la Justice du Québec met en garde la population contre des tentatives d'hameçonnage par courriel

The Ministère de la Justice du Québec has found that personal information belonging to citizens who contacted the Direction générale des registres et de la certification (DGRC) by email may have been compromised following a phishing attack detected in August. The following DGRC services may have been affected:

  • Register of Personal and Movable Real Rights;
  • Registry of Lobbyists;
  • Register of Commissioners for Oaths;
  • Register of Letters Patent for Land;
  • Sales Register.

Measures have been taken to ensure that the persons affected receive adequate support. If you have been affected, you have received or will shortly receive a communication informing you of available resources and measures to take. A credit monitoring service will also be provided to you free of charge.

We ask everyone who may have been affected to remain vigilant.

When will I receive the letter?

We started sending letters in theweek of October 12, 2020.

Will the Ministère communicate with me by email? 

If so, the Ministère sent an email between October 14 and October 21, 2020, from the address informations@justice.gouv.qc.ca.  

It concerns: Important information for citizens affected by the security incident at the Ministère de la Justice du Québec.

I haven’t received an email or letter from the Ministère, but I would like to confirm that none of my information was compromised. What should I do? 

Call our client contact centre at 1-866-536-5140, option 4. We will analyze the situation with you.

What information and data may have been compromised?

Information sent during email exchanges with the Ministère de la Justice’s Direction générale des registres et de la certification. If you want to know what information belonging to you may have been compromised, you can call the client contact centre at 1-866-536-5140, option 4.

How many people were affected by this phishing attack?

We are currently analyzing the situation to determine the parameters and scope of the incident. We also lodged a complaint with the Sûreté du Québec regarding this incident. In this context, the Ministère de la Justice cannot reveal details relating to the situation in order not to interfere with the ongoing investigation.  

What are some indicators that my information is being used maliciously?

The following are potential indicators that your identity was stolen:

  • a creditor informs you that a credit card application was received with your name and address, but you did not file this application;
  • you get a call or a letter from a creditor saying that your application was approved or denied, but you never filed an application;
  • you receive credit card statements or other bills in your name, which you did not apply for;
  • you no longer receive your credit card statements or you notice that not all of your mail is delivered;
  • a collection agency informs you that it is collecting for a defaulted account under your name, but you did not open this account.

What will the government do to keep my identity safe?

A credit monitoring service will be provided to you free of charge. Subscription instructions will be included in the letter the Ministère will send you if you are potentially affected by this incident.

What kind of coverage does this protection provide?

Equifax was selected to provide the credit monitoring service.

Equifax CompleteTM Premier is the credit monitoring and identity theft protection product chosen. It includes daily access to and monitoring of your Equifax credit file. You will receive online notification if access requests or modifications are made to your Equifax credit file.

If you become a victim of identity theft, the service will also provide assurance and support to restore your identity.

When will I receive Equifax’s online notifications?

Equifax CompleteTM Premier ensures daily monitoring of your Equifax credit file. You will receive an online notification as soon as Equifax discovers an access request or modification to your credit file.

What is the length of the plan?

The plan is offered for five years starting on the day you register online using the activation code provided in our letter.

What happens after five years?

The credit monitoring service ends automatically five years after you activate your code. If you want to stay subscribed, you have to take the necessary steps directly with Equifax.

How long do I have to register for the credit monitoring services?

You have 6 months from the date indicated in the letter. After this date, the activation code provided in the letter ceases to be valid.

Whom should I contact if I have questions about the credit monitoring plan?

You can contact Equifax directly by phone at 1-877-493-8785, Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

All Equifax products and services are offered in English and French.

Am I automatically signed up for the credit monitoring service?

You are not signed up automatically. You have to sign up online by creating an account and activating the service with the activation code provided in the letter we send you.

Is non-Internet registration possible?

No, you have to register online. If you need phone support to help you sign up online, you can contact Equifax at 1-877-493-8785, Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

If I am already registered for Equifax protection equal to that being offered by the Ministère de la Justice, how can I take advantage of this offer?

If you are already registered for Equifax CompleteTM Premier, you cannot re-register. If you try to do so, you will see a message saying that you are already registered.

If you want to take advantage of this offer, you can unsubscribe from your current Equifax plan and register again using the activation code provided in our letter.

If I am already registered for a credit monitoring service at my own expense, how can I take advantage of this offer for five years of coverage?

If you are already registered for Equifax CompleteTM Premier, you cannot re-register. If you try to do so, you will see a message saying that you are already registered.

If you want to take advantage of the new Equifax CompleteTM Premier protection offered to you free of charge for five years, you can unsubscribe from your current plan and activate the new plan using the activation code provided in our letter.

If I believe I may have been a victim of fraud and wish to submit a complaint, who should I contact?

Contact your municipal police service if you think you are a victim of identity theft or fraud. The Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec can also guide you if your personal information was lost or stolen. A guide outlining what measures to take and what companies and public bodies to contact if you suspect you may be a victim of identity theft is available at www.cai.gouv.qc.ca.

If I am a victim of fraud, will I be compensated? What recourses do I have?

If you notice suspicious transactions, you can reach out to your banking institution or credit card issuer. If you are a victim of fraud, you can also take the matter to an ordinary court.

If your identity was stolen, various government resources are also available to you. The Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec can guide you if your personal information was lost or stolen.

A guide is available at www.cai.gouv.qc.ca. It outlines things you should know if you suspect you may be a victim of identity theft, including what measures to take and what companies and public bodies to contact (e.g.: keep copies of all relevant and official documents; communicate with certain organizations such as financial institutions, service providers, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and Revenu Québec).

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