The Government of Canada Anti-Fraud Center reports the growing number of fraudulent activities by means of spoofed government, healthcare, research, charity websites, phone calls, texts and emails that exploit the citizens’ fears and uncertainties over the crisis. Some examples of such scams are:
- Unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims, products or research;
- Centers for Disease Control or WHO offering fake lists for sale of COVID-19 infected people in your neighbourhood;
- Cleaning, heating companies or door-to-door sales people offering duct cleaning services, air filters to protect from COVID-19, cleaning products, hand sanitizers, other items in high demand;
- Hydro/electrical power companies threatening to disconnect your power for non-payment;
- Public Health Agency of Canada giving false tested positive results for COVID-19 tricking 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;
- Private companies selling COVID-19 tests, cures, herbal remedies, vaccinations.
Educate your staff, family, neighbors, and friends on the rising number of the crisis-related scams. Some recommended courses of action for unsolicited communications are:
Never respond to those you didn't initiate contact with or click on suspicious links and attachments;
Never give out your personal or financial details;
Don't be pressured into making a donation, purchase or investment without confirming the legitimacy of the entity by verifying its registration;
Don’t get tests from anyone other than health care providers; unapproved drugs violate federal laws.