The new system for sending AXELLE text messages set up a few months ago by the Ministry of Health is not unanimous as the text messages sent can resemble those of scammers.
This service was set up to make it easier for patients to book an appointment with a specialist.
However, some messages sent through this system ask patients to confirm their identity and year of birth.
When in doubt that it could be a scam, many choose to ignore them.
“We shouldn’t answer that,” explains cybersecurity specialist Éric Parent. All scammers use the exact same technique. We have no way in the current model that we see […] to know who we are interacting with.
The President of the Council for the Protection of the Sick, Paul Brunet, considers this new approach unacceptable.
“There’s an element of validation missing,” he says. If you get a text message that says, ‘Okay, give us your name, date of birth’ and whatever, that’s extremely important personal information.”
Data from the Ministry of Health shows that only 56% of users responded.
According to Mr. Parent, the ministry could send the partially masked health insurance number to patients to avoid confusion.
“We would prove it [alors] that we really are the ministry or someone in authority who has that information,” he continues.
However, you need to be vigilant if you want to reply to a text message from an unknown sender.