The Government Is Warning Canadians About False Claims & Scams Related to COVID-19
Misinformation is spreading as fast as the virus itself. COVID-19 in Canada has spawned a new set of scams going around. The government is warning people about new scams and false claims to look out for related to the growing pandemic.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has published a list of scams that are currently active. They are urging people to be aware of them during this period.
Many of these scams or fraudulent claims are directly related to people's fears about COVID-19.
These include fraudsters claiming to be charities who are requesting money for victims, products, or research. The CAFC warns to always check that a charity is registered with the government.
Another frequent scam is people buying high-priced or low-quality items in bulk and then reselling them. Canadians are warned that these products could either be expired or hazardous to their health.
People have also reported several scam calls they have received during this time. One of the most frequent is calls about having air ducts or filters cleaned.
Others prey on people's fears about COVID-19. Scam callers claiming to be from the World Health Organization will ask potential victims to pay for a list of people in their neighbourhood who have tested positive for the virus.
Canadian Red Cross warns of fraudulent face mask offers via text, email and social media. DO NOT click the link!… https://t.co/SxyyxhAe1Z— VPDCybercrime Unit (@VPDCybercrime Unit) 1584558050.0
Some scam callers claim to be from Health Canada and will tell people that they have tested positive for the virus in order to obtain health card and credit card numbers to claim a prescription.
One of the most common and reoccurring scams currently is from people claiming to be from Red Cross. They say they will provide masks to you if you make a donation.
Be fraud aware! Watch out for common frauds & scams including new ones related to #COVID19 Be cautious about clicki… https://t.co/Z4ezEvqYnk— Medicine Hat Police Service (@Medicine Hat Police Service) 1584555704.0
Health Canada also has a section on their page regarding prevention and risks about false and misleading claims.
In this section, they write "We have not approved any product to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19."
They also note that selling unauthorized products and making untrue claims about being able to cure or prevent COVID-19 is illegal.