FAQ – Fraud and identity theft – Computer virus fraud

Computer viruses are the most popular of malicious software, which is developed with the aim of compromising a computer system. The following list includes the main types of malicious software:

  1. Virus: small program designed to self-replicate on other computers, like a biological virus that spreads from one person to another. It may hinder the proper operation of the infected computer.
  2. Worm: uses a computer's resources to replicate and spread to other computers over the Internet.
  3. Trojan horse: a seemingly legitimate program that executes harmful actions without a user's authorization. E.g.: a "back door" creates an entrance to a computer system from a distance.
  4. Spyware: gathers personal information about a user without authorization and sends it to a third party.

Malicious software first appeared at the same time as computers so it is not a new problem. However, the objectives of the perpetrators have changed.

Desjardins makes sure that its computer systems are highly secure at all times. However, it is your responsibility to be vigilant when making online transactions.

To learn more, see Protect your computer.

A few years ago, hackers sought recognition and fame. Today, these criminals usually try to use malicious software to steal money from their victims. Viruses and worms are usually used to:

  • Take control of your computer with the aim of using it for fraud without your knowledge. This is particularly true with the development of high-speed Internet access tools like cable modems and ADSL.
  • Install spyware to gather your personal information without your knowledge when you surf the Internet. A hacker could obtain your password to access your savings accounts, or your credit card number when you make online purchases.

Test the security of your computer and your knowledge:

The spread of computer viruses on the Internet is a very real phenomenon. This is why it is critical that you install security software on your computer that includes automatic updates and antivirus, antispyware, and antispam software as well as a firewall, Note that these do not, however, protect your computer from new viruses. This is why you must beware if anything appears abnormal on your Internet browser.

For example, one sign that your computer may have been infected is if you are asked to provide unusual information such as your date of birth or social insurance number as you log in to AccèsD, and this despite the fact that:

  • the address in the address bar is correct (www.desjardins.com or accesd.desjardins.com);
  • the padlock at the bottom the page is closed;
  • and the address in the address bar starts with https://.

What to do if you suspect your computer is infected

  • Install or update your antivirus program and launch a full system scan.
  • Do not use your computer to do your online banking until the problem has been resolved.
  • If you have given out personal information or believe your password may be compromised, contact an AccèsD Services advisor to change your AccèsD password by calling 1-800-CAISSES (1-800-224-7737).
  • If the problem persists after a system scan by your antivirus program, contact your Internet service provider or the computer support department of the store where you purchased the computer.
  • You can also use free scans generally offered by most antivirus software suppliers.

Some antivirus programs detect viruses faster than others, or detect viruses that others do not. Each virus has its own signature, and some programs are more effective in removing them from your system.


In order for your computer to be infected by a virus, you must have downloaded the file which contains it.

To avoid downloading an infected file:

  • Do not open attachments received from strangers.
  • Install an up-to-date antivirus program that is automatically updated.

Worms travel without any help from users and lodge themselves in your computer's random access memory (RAM). Worms replicate and spread from computer to computer in the same network or to computers via e-mail. Worms usually send out copies of itself to all the addresses in the infected computer's e-mail address book.

To keep your computer from being infected by a worm:

  • Install an antivirus program and a firewall that are automatically updated.
Trojan horses

Trojan horses at first glance appear to be legitimate programs but do annoying or malicious damage to your computer. To be infected with a Trojan horse, the program must have been installed by the user. Beware of files that have two extensions, (e.g., photo-album.jpg.exe), which lead you to believe it includes photos but is actually an executable program (.exe).

To keep your computer from being infected by a Trojan horse:

  • Do not open (click on a hyperlink) or run (double click on a file) you receive from strangers either by e-mail or in chat rooms.
  • Beware of files with the following extensions: .exe, .bat, .com, .vbs, .pif. If a file looks suspicious, do not double click on it. If a suspicious file comes from someone you know, contact them to find out if it was truly sent by them.
  • Install an antivirus program and a firewall that are automatically updated.
  • Configure your operating system not to open or run files automatically.

To find out more, see Protect your computer.

Follow the following steps:

  • if your computer begins acting strangely


  • if you have received a call from Desjardins's fraud prevention department or your caisse because Desjardins systems have detected that your AccèsD or AccèsD Affaires user code has been compromised because of a computer virus
  1. Make sure that all Desjardins Access Card numbers and AccèsD Affaires user codes used on the infected computer are immediately deactivated. To do this, call 1-800-CAISSES (1-800-224-7737) or contact your caisse.
  2. Do not, under any circumstances, use the computer to make online transactions or purchases or to access sites containing confidential information about you as long as the virus has not been removed by a qualified expert.
  3. Contact your computer support group.

    If you do not have a computer support group, you may get help from an expert by contacting:

    • the store where you purchased the computer (e.g. major electronic stores have qualified technicians and offer problem resolution services)
    • the technical support service of the antivirus software installed on the computer
    • your Internet service provider, if it offers a virus protection program
    • any computer expert near you
  4. Desjardins cannot perform repairs on personal computers, phones and cell phones, or any other electronic or computer equipment belonging to users of its services.

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