Important Information for Our Customers
To our valued customers, thank you for visiting empireupdate.ca.
The security of your personal information is extremely important to us. We have taken and continue to take measures to ensure we have the right safeguards in place to help protect customer information, and our investigation is continuing. We are treating this incident with the utmost importance and sincerely regret any concern it may cause. We assure you that there will be no disruption to your services or coverage from Empire Life as a result of this incident.
Phone: 1-800-982-1744 (English)
Call Centre Hours: 8am – 8pm ET
For more information, please read the FAQs below or call 1-800-982-1744 (English) or 1-844-319-9656 (French) for more information.
On November 20, 2015, Empire Life was the victim of an email phishing incident. Several employees received an email from an unauthorized third party that appeared to be a trusted source. The employees were tricked into providing their email log-ins and passwords, which the third party used to access these employees’ email accounts. As a result, 10 email accounts were temporarily accessed.
Has the situation been resolved?
Yes. Our IT team responded and began to shut down access to these email accounts within an hour of the original incident. However, it is possible that customer information in these email accounts may have been viewed by an unauthorized third party.
Am I affected?
We are not aware of customer personal information being used inappropriately as a result of this incident. However, it is possible that customer information in these email accounts may have been viewed by an unauthorized third party. Our investigation is still ongoing so we have taken the action of notifying all of our customers.
If you have reason to believe your information has been used for fraudulent purposes, we strongly recommend you contact your local police department and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-800-982-1744, or by visiting http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/.
Is there anything I can do to protect myself?
There is no specific action required, but it is important to be vigilant. If you are concerned, you can protect yourself from identity theft by doing either of the following:
- Reviewing your credit report by obtaining a copy directly from one of Canada’s nationwide credit reporting agencies listed below. Credit reports may be received free of charge from both agencies if ordered by mail, and may take two to three weeks to arrive.
- Placing a fraud alert on your credit report or credit accounts. This fraud alert statement informs creditors about possible fraudulent activity within your account and requests that your creditor contact you before establishing accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert on your credit accounts, contact your financial institution or credit provider. To place a fraud alert on your credit report, contact Equifax or TransUnion and follow the Fraud Victims instructions.
What information was accessed?
The personal information that may have been viewed varies from case to case. At this time we believe that the personal information that may have been viewed, depending on the email account, could include fund values, dates of birth, addresses, medical information related to applications and claims, and social insurance numbers. We are not aware of customer personal information being used inappropriately as a result of this incident.
What kind of medical information was viewed?
Medical information that could have been viewed, depending on the email account, includes information that may have been provided to us directly by an advisor or customer when applying for insurance or submitting a claim, or indirectly by reference to the type of doctor from whom a customer is receiving medical services.
Was my Social Insurance Number compromised?
The personal information that may have been viewed varies from case to case and, depending on the email account, could include fund values, dates of birth, addresses, medical information related to applications and claims, and social insurance numbers. We are not aware of customer personal information, including social insurance numbers, being used inappropriately as a result of this incident.
Was my credit card information compromised?
It is not our practice to collect credit card information through email. This incident should not affect your credit cards. However, if you ever suspect any fraudulent use of your credit card, please call your credit card provider immediately.
I am a former customer. Is my information affected?
The information of some former customers may have been affected. However we are not aware of customer personal information being used inappropriately as a result of this incident.
What is phishing?
Phishing is an illegal tactic used to acquire information such as usernames and passwords by impersonating a trustworthy individual or organization in electronic communications (through phone, email or other digital communications tools). Phishing emails typically direct recipients to a fake website that mimics a trusted organization’s legitimate site, where recipients are directed to enter their personal information for validation purposes.
How can I protect myself from phishing scams?
Be aware of unsolicited phone calls or emails that appear to offer you identity theft protection or credit monitoring but are actually phishing scams designed to steal your information. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact and are sure you know who you’re dealing with. If you receive an email with a link, confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization before sharing any personal information. One way to do this is to check an organization’s website by typing its URL in the address line, rather than cutting and pasting it.
Will there be any disruption in my benefits or insurance coverage?
No. There will be no disruption to your services or coverage from Empire Life as a result of this incident.
I think I received a scam email related to Empire Life’s phishing incident.
Please be aware that Empire Life is not initiating contact with any customers about this incident. Unfortunately it is not unusual for unauthorized third parties to try to capitalize further on these types of incidents by sending further phishing emails that appear to come from the affected company. If you received a suspicious email that appears to come from our company asking you to click on a link, do not click on the link. These emails are NOT from Empire Life.
- DO NOT click on any links in email.
- DO NOT reply to the email or reach out to the sender in any way.
- If you have clicked on the link, DO NOT supply any information on any website that may open.
- DO NOT open any attachments in the email.
I received a call from Empire Life related to this phishing incident asking for my information. What should I do?
We are not initiating contact with individuals regarding the phishing incident and will never ask for credit card information or personal information over the phone.
Who do I call if I have more questions?
We are happy to answer your questions. You can contact us at 1-800-982-1744 (English) or 1-844-319-9656 (French).