Fraud attempts force Quebec provincial parks agency to suspend sale of discounted passes
The Quebec Provincial Parks Agency (SEPAQ) was forced to close the online sale of reduced-price annual passes on Tuesday morning, after a banking institution reported several fraud attempts.
A limited number of Bonjour Quebec passes, 140,000 in total, were available at half price as early as 9 a.m. but were suddenly taken offline as tens of thousands of people waited in a digital queue.
The passes give access to all provincial parks in Quebec and generally cost a little over $ 80. Discounted park passes were a big hit last year due to travel restrictions and this year the province is once again encouraging Quebeckers to explore closer to home.
“A little before 11 [a.m.] we have decided to suspend the sale of passes, ”said Simon Boivin, spokesperson for the Quebec Society of Outdoor Establishments. “A banking establishment noticed fraud attempts and the [security] the measures taken at the time meant that some credit cards were no longer accepted by the reservation system. “
SEPAQ did not confirm what type of cards were affected or which financial institution brought the issue to its attention, but said no personal data or card information was compromised.
Boivin said SEPAQ did its best to keep people first online and to make sure everyone who waited had a fair chance to buy tickets.
Despite the setback, over 50% of available passes were still sold this morning. Sales resumed shortly after 3:30 p.m., with around 37,500 copies remaining at that time. By 5:00 p.m., the passes were exhausted.