With Governments offering up COVID-19 financial aid, people are vulnerable to predatory cyber scammers. People have been receiving text messages supposedly from the Federal government saying a $1,375 relief payment had been sent to them.
The message provided a legitimate-looking URL and warned that "data rates may apply". What those who clicked found was a website looking like a legitimate government site asking for personal information - including banking information- required to accept the deposit.
The Canadian Fraud Centre is warning people to be wary of communications requiring urgent action or payment and/or offering medical advice, financial relief or government assistance and compensation.
RCMP say that Albertans have reported being contacted regarding fake positive COVID test results, self assessment surveys, fraudulent donation campaigns and door-to-door decontamination services.
Anti Fraud Tips
• If you didn't initiate contact, you don't know whom you're communicating with
• Never respond or click on suspicious links and attachments
• Never give out your personal or financial details
• Don't be pressured into making donations
• Verify independently what charities are registered
• Check the "from" address by hovering over the name
• Be wary of high-priced or low-quality products purchased by bulk by consumers and resold for profit
• Be wary of questionable offers, such as miracle cures, herbal remedies, vaccinations, faster testing
• Be wary of fake and deceptive online ads, including cleaning products, hand sanitizers adnd other items in high demand
• Verify information sources
• Be wary of clicking on the links provided in emails unless you know it is coming from an official source
• Do not follow the link in a text message, but instead, go to the URL using a trusted search engine such as google to find official resources
• Be wary of links that look official. Links can be directed to any page on the internet, including the scammer's own site
• Be wary of advertisements for "N95 Masks in Stock" or COVID-19 Testing Kits
• Be wary of offers for Free and you pay the shipping fee
• Check the Canadian Anti Fraud Website for a list of reported scams