I am getting COVID-19 related scam calls, emails and text messages. What can I do about them?
Fraudsters are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by sending emails and text messages and making phone calls to trick you into revealing personal information or installing malware on your computer or mobile device.
Based on the scam activity that has been reported, the CRTC advises Canadians to be aware of the following malicious activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic:
COVID-19 Relief Programs from the Government of Canada
Many bad actors are posing as Government of Canada representatives to obtain Canadians’ personal banking information. Scammers may insist that this personal information is needed to receive a refund or benefit payment.
You should never respond to these fraudulent communications or click on any of the links provided. Protect yourself by knowing that the Government of Canada will never:
- contact you via text message to obtain personal information
- request prepaid credit cards
- ask for information about your passport, health card or driver's licence in unsolicited emails, texts or phone calls
- share your taxpayer information, unless you have provided the appropriate authorization
- threaten or try to intimidate you
Fraudulent offers for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Fraudulent offers for PPE, such as face masks or thermometers, have been reported. Follow these tips to protect yourself:
- take your time. When in doubt, take a moment to fully consider the information being provided to you;
- be careful before you click on links in any email you receive as scammers may be stealing your personal information when you do;
- conduct an online search of the organization who is claiming to be contacting you; and
- be sure that you are getting information from a trusted source such as official Government of Canada websites.
Think you've been scammed? Help fight fraud by reporting your experience to the following organizations:
- If you have received an unsolicited commercial electronic message, you can report it to the Spam Reporting Centre.
- Any calls, emails or text messages that have resulted in a loss of money or personal information can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), a national service jointly operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Ontario Provincial Police and the Competition Bureau.
- For any other unsolicited calls, you can file a complaint with the National Do Not Call List (DNCL).
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