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03.26.2020

A List of Known Scams Related to COVID-19

from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

The CAFC, which works with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Competition Bureau and Ontario Provincial Police, is urging Canadians to be vigilant as fraudsters look to exploit the COVID-19 crisis.

Protect yourself, be aware of:

Spoofed government, healthcare or research information
Unsolicited calls, emails and texts giving medical advice or requesting urgent action or payment
• 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

Reported Scams

Fraudsters are posing as:

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 disease
• offering 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 — o nly health care providers can perform the tests — n o 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

Trusted Resources and Advice

Reference the latest health information from these legitimate sources: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Public Health Agency of Canada); Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak (World Health Organization)
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

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