Tag Archives: scam

West Vancouver Servers Hacked

District of West Vancouver, westvancouver.ca, recently discovered that they have malware installed on their servers potentially accessing thousands of users data over the last few years. It is possible that over 4,870 people data have been compromised.

While noone knows for sure if data compromised was used or will be used for illegal purposes, West Vancouver issues press release saying that “the possibility of compromise cannot be definitively ruled out.”

Basically if you have used website to send personal information to the city between 2013 and 2018 your data was potentially compromised. To stop the breach from spreading even more, the officials have shut down the website, and wiped all the personal data from the website, and promised to increase their web security.

West Vancouver promised in the press release:

“Examples of the personal information contained in these forms may include addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and IP addresses.

Once we are assured that additional security measures put in place are effective, the forms will be enabled again on a limited basis. In the future, data will be removed from the web server on a regular basis.”

Robfoto / Pixabay

City advises you to “exercise caution if approached by an unknown individuals” in regards to your data as hackers might target residents for scams or identity theft.

Cyber security expert George Pajari, in interview to North Shore news, said:

“It was obvious the district was completely unprepared. It was a disaster waiting to happen. They hadn’t taken what I would consider the absolute basic steps to protect the information they were holding.

Not only had they not subscribed to receive notification of the patches from the vendor, they hadn’t updated their software for months and months so they got knocked off.”

Cyber security is becoming a big issue in Canada, where a recent report from Deloitte mentioned that many cyber security jobs in Canada go unfilled due to lack of experienced professionals. If you are looking for a new career, maybe consider going into cyber security – a huge boom in this profession is expected over the next 5-10 years in Canada and across the world.

Passport Canada Web Scam

If you are looking around for renewing your passport beware what you search for on Google. The website that calls itself Passport Canada “helps” you renew your passport by charging a whopping $192 fee when the service’s information is free when you apply via Government’s website.

The website pops up when you search for “renew my passport canada” or other similar searches on Google. The website called, Passport Online, tries to resemble Government of Canada website for renewing passports. Asking you questions like “Are you Canadian citizen?” before charging you few hundred dollars to “help” you with your applications that you would normally do for free.

Essentially, the website itself, is giving you information you can get for free but charges you for information on how to renew your passport without renewing your passport. So that confuses a lot of people who pay the service yet still have to go to Passport Office and pay more money to actually renew their passport.

The website does state:

“We provide the convenience, freedom and ability to help or assist those in need .… We charge a nominal fee to have applications reviewed and facilitated,” and this doesn’t include any government fees.”

Passport Canada is advising Canadians to watch out for “certain organizations claim to offer ‘support’ to Canadian citizens who want to apply for a passport, such as by selling information kits that outline application procedures. Some also falsely claim to be able to speed up the passport application process for an additional fee.” Passport Canada even states that sometimes these promises can be considered a fraud.

So watch out, and just use Government’s official website to renew your Canadian passport for your upcoming Mexico vacation.

Yellow Pages Bad Business Practices

This post is our experience in dealing with Yellow Pages and their reps over the last year. Let this be a lesson for anyone considering doing business with them.

Last year after checking our website logs we have discovered that even though they charge thousands of dollars a year we have less than few hundred clicks from them so we have decided not to continue as we heavily advertise on Google / Yelp / Bing.

We have tried to cancel multiple times our subscriptions as they call it but they say there is nothing they can do about it – as they say : “it keeps on renewing automatically”.  The agent we need to speak to is never around – and all we get is a voicemail. The reps we speak to on a phone – noone can help – because you need a client retention specialist to speak to. They take your information , however you keep on getting invoices / bills for services you have never authorized, need or provided a credit card for (they charge $300 for a Yellow Pages book listing – who reads those books nowdays???) They keep on insisting that few years when you signed up for service you were given this information on the phone that essentially locks you with them and keeps on auto renewing. Is this insane or what?

After scanning reviews online – it seems we are not the only ones affected by this bad business practices where they lock you in  contracts, not letting go, because their business is dying (already dead?) due to competition from Google, Yelp, Bing.

Reviews below are from feedback website sitejabber:

Glenmore R. comments:

YP deserves a zero for their business practices!
They offer a terrible service, not worth the money then force you to be their customer through auto renewall process, then they pretend they can’t cancel service.

Waste of money,
terrible service
Poor business practice

Dishani G. comments:

“Should go out of Business for their Dirty Tactics”
Too bad there isn’t a negative star because they deserve it for their dirty tactics of putting customers on the hook for contracts they didn’t want, and not letting them get out of a contract. My husband has been trying to cancel a service that they tricked him into signing up for a year by quickly reading the terms to him over the phone and slipping that in without being transparent. And apparently on top of cancelling the contract; he has to explicitly state in a letter that he doesn’t want a new one to be automatically renewed. What kind of bogus practices is that. They have been very evasive every time he calls saying “the guy” who cancels the contract is out of office and will call back. How come there is only one guy that cancels the contract and 100 vultures that can sign you up for one? Is is some special rocket science technique that only one person in the company knows. They make is difficult and a complete waste of the customers time on purpose so we will give up. What a terrible company.

Kevin B. comments:

“YELLOWPAGES MAFIA…worse than Air Canada…get your head examined if you deal with this company”
I’ve been dealing with this Mickey Mouse organization for over 9 months trying to get answers. They are continually billing for contracts that are either cancelled, closed or have never been renewed. It’s like a self administered root canal without freezing. Instead of spending money with these criminals we will be burning piles of 20 dollar bills every Friday in the parking lot. At least this way I will know what I’m getting for my money…the insurance business is less blurry and less confusing.

This bad service is on top of erroneously advertising their services as providing organic search on google, where indeed their service is paid Google adwords add-on. This is reprint from MelbourneGeek.com website about his experience with yellowpages sales rep:

Maybe the Yellow Pages rep was confused, so I decided to clarify:

ME: ”So, just so I get this right, you are talking about organic search?” Yellow Pages: ”yes”

ME: ”Not paid ads up the top?”

Yellow Pages: ”No, I am talking about organic search. Yellow Pages have a Partnership with Google.”

She was confident about it. I asked her: ME: Are you ACTUALLY from Yellow Pages? Yellow Pages: Yes, I am actually from Yellow Pages, I am not an agent. I can give you a number to call back if you have any further questions.

It sounds really appealing to a business owner. I can imagine what the average small business owner would be thinking:

*Everyone has been saying that Yellow Pages is a big rip off for years. But now they are in bed with Google. They are a Google PARTNER! I want to be number one on Google. This sounds great.*

Read more here: MelbourneGeek.com website