Between March 6, 2020 and May 1, 2020:
Canadian reports of COVID-19 fraud: 766
Canadian victims of COVID-19 fraud: 188
Lost to COVID-19 fraud: $1.2M
In these times of uncertainty, fraudsters have become increasingly opportunistic. Whether tricking people into revealing their personal and financial information, clicking on malicious links, making donations to phoney charities or relief efforts.. scams are taking place in person, over the phone, by email and by text. CityNews reports that seniors can be especially vulnerable. Read the article or watch the video here.
Here are some examples of COVID-19 related fraud:
- Cleaning or heating companies offering duct cleaning services or filters to protect from COVID-19 and door-to-door sales people selling household decontamination services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) offering fake lists for sale of COVID-19 infected people in your neighbourhood
- Public Health Agency of Canada giving false results saying you have been tested positive for COVID-19 tricking you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription
- Red Cross and other known charities offering free medical products (e.g. masks) for a donation
- Government departments sending out COVID-themed phishing emails tricking you into opening malicious attachments or tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details
- Financial advisers pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease or offering financial aid and/or loans to help you get through the shut downs.
- Private companies offering fake COVID-19 tests for sale
It’s never been more important to arm yourself with confidence, awareness, and the right information to help protect yourself. Visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for the latest information and share what you learn with those who may not have access to the internet.