There are tons of scams going on right now with COVID-19 that you need to know about according to the Government of Canada’s Anti-Fraud website. It is unfortunate, but a fact that scammers take even an emergency situation to make their move on victims that are vulnerable in many ways right now.
Fraudsters want to profit from consumers’ fears, uncertainties and misinformation and are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cyber crime.
Here is a current list of the scams that have been reported to watch out for.
Fraudsters are posing as:
- Loan and financial service companies offering loans, debt consolidation and other financial assistance services
- Cleaning or heating companies offering duct cleaning services or air filters to protect from COVID-19
- Local and provincial hydro/electrical power companies threatening to disconnect your power for non-payment
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization 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 coronavirus-themed phishing emails tricking you into opening malicious attachments tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details
- Financial advisors pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the diseaseoffering financial aid and/or loans to help you get through the shut downs
- Door-to-door sales people selling household decontamination services
- Private companies offering fast COVID-19 tests for sale. Only health care providers can perform the tests, no other tests are genuine or guaranteed to provide accurate results
- selling fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent the disease
- Unapproved drugs threaten public health and violate federal laws
Bottom line is that you need to be aware that scammers abound right now. The anti-fraud website recommends to protect yourself and be aware of these things in general:
- Spoofed government, healthcare or research information
- Unsolicited calls, emails and texts requesting urgent action or payment and/or offering medical advice, financial relief, or government assistance and compensation
- If you didn’t initiate contact, you don’t know who you’re communicating to
- Never respond or click on suspicious links and attachments
- Never give out your personal or financial details
- Unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims, products or research
- Don’t be pressured into making a donation
- Verify that a charity is registered
- High-priced or low-quality products purchased in bulk by consumers and resold for profit
- These items may be expired and/or dangerous to your health
- Questionable offers, such as: miracle cures, herbal remedies, vaccinations, faster testing,
- Fake and deceptive online ads, including: cleaning products, hand sanitizers, other items in high demand
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF?
Refer to trusted sources (listed below) before taking action on anything and make sure you have anti-virus software on your computer.
Trusted resources and advice
- Refer to Government of Canada COVID-19 health, financial and security resources
- Refer to Financial Consumer Agency of Canada COVID-19 information
- Reference the latest health information from these legitimate sources:
- Contact your insurance provider to answer any health insurance questions
- Make sure you have anti-virus software installed and keep your operating system up to date
For updated information on scams going on please visit the government’s website HERE.
To receive similar content, “Like” us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/niagarabuzz.ca