One thing is for sure, the current COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on some of the incredible work Canadians are continuing to do to help others in need, from dedicating their time to hand-sew masks to financially helping others who are falling behind.
Unfortunately, it has also unleashed a plethora of new financial scams designed to get your personal information to commit fraud with and to steal your money.
Globally, there is a huge increase in fraud using COVID-19 as the cover, and Canada is no exception. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has released a list* of reported financial fraud so that you can keep yourself fraud-free.
Here’s what to look out for:
• Cleaning companies offering duct cleaning services or air filters to protect from COVID-19
• 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 and tricking you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription
• Red Cross and other known charities offering free medical products for a donation
• Government departments tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details
• Financial advisors pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease
• High-priced or low-quality products purchased in bulk by consumers and resold for profit
• Questionable offers such as miracle cures
• Fake and deceptive online ads, including cleaning products and hand sanitizers
It’s important that you make a point of keeping up to date about the various scams so you can better protect yourself and loved ones from falling prey.
*List updated April 9th.