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COVID-19 spawns new scams

The RCMP Veterans’ Association is warning members of COVID-19 related scams/frauds, and offering trusted resources to access, in a press release issued Wednesday.

The letter reads as follows:

Fraudsters are trying to profit from consumers’ fears, uncertainties, and misinformation. These scammers are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cybercrime.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has updated its list of known COVID-19 related scams.

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 crisis.

Here is the CAFC’s latest list of tricks that have been detected as of March 18th:

  • Cleaning or heating companies offering duct cleaning services or filters to protect from COVID-19 offering "special" air filters.
  • Local and provincial hydro/electrical power companies threatening to disconnect power for non-payment.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the World Health Organization (WHO) 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 advisers 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 fake COVID-19 tests for sale.

I have also put together some links of interest for our clients and families to protect you from COVID-19 related scams and overall good secure computing:

  • Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: site
  • WHO – Beware of criminals pretending to be WHO: site
  • How to spot phishing scams arising from COVID-19: site
  • Canada – False and misleading claims: site
  • CISA – Defending against COVID-19 cyber scams:site
  • StaySafeOnline – COVID-19 Security Resource Library:site
  • IT World Canada:site
  • 5 tips from homeland security to help you avoid COVID-19 scams:site
  • NCSC issues guidance as home working increases in response to COVID-19:site

Dennis Ewaniuk
President
TPPA