The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Cybercrime Investigations Team has arrested two individuals in relation to a security breach of the COVID-19 immunization system.
On November 17, 2021, the OPP was asked to investigate after the Ontario government received reports of spam text messages from a number of individuals who had scheduled appointments or accessed vaccine certificates through the COVID-19 immunization system.
On November 22, 2021, OPP members executed search warrants, one in Quebec with the support of Sûreté du Québec, and the second in Ottawa. Several devices, computers and laptops were seized.
As a result of the search warrants executed on November 22, 2021, the following criminal charges have been laid:
- 21-year-old Ayoub SAYID, of Gloucester, Ontario, has been arrested and charged with Unauthorized Use of a Computer contrary to s. 342.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code. SAYID is an employee of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services – Vaccine Contact Centre.
- 22-year-old Rahim ABDU of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec, has been arrested with assistance from Sûreté du Québec and charged with Unauthorized Use of a Computer contrary to s. 342.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code.
The accused have been released from custody and will be scheduled to appear in court.
The public should always be suspicious of any text messages requesting financial or private information. If you suspect fraudulent activity, please report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), through its website at antifraudcentre.ca or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501. If an individual has been a victim of a scam, fraud or cybercrime, they should contact their local police as soon as possible.