Scammers are back at it once again, even during this COVID-19 pandemic. An Emergency Response Benefit scam is happening over text messages and Justin Trudeau had to warn Canadians about it. So be on the lookout and make sure you don't fall for it!
On March 26, the Prime Minister put out a warning during his daily press conference about a scam that is targeting people across the country in regard to the newly announced Emergency Response Benefit.
"There appears to be a text scam going around on the new Emergency Response Benefit," he said. "I want to remind everyone that the government's website is the best place to find reliable information on everything we're doing."
In French, Trudeau said that people have received text messages that seem to be coming from the government with respect to the new benefit.
But he assured Canadians and said, "this is a scam."
Some people have gone on Twitter and posted the messages they've gotten on their phones.
The scam text said, "Alert: The emergency response benefit of Canada relief fund has sent you a deposit for $1375.50."
After that, there is a link in the message.
One person who got the message tweeted that, "hopefully everyone can spot the .xyz."
Just got this...obviously a scam...hopefully everyone can spot the .xyz and knows that Canada uses exclusively .gc.… https://t.co/jjmgoeAapl— Dustin Matheson (@Dustin Matheson)1585233397.0
There are lots of scams going on. Our government will not send you a text or email to deposit your money from the C… https://t.co/BThYSChzlY— Scott (Physical Distancing) Oakley (@Scott (Physical Distancing) Oakley)1585229962.0
COVID text scam: Watch out for messages like this: https://t.co/Ci7ymEpRdR— Cristina Tenaglia (@Cristina Tenaglia)1585227887.0
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has said that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
With this new benefit, Trudeau said that an application portal is launching as soon as possible and people will get the money from it within 14 days of applying.
So right now it's not even possible for the government to have given anybody money through it.
Someone tweeted, "Canada's Dad having to tell us to not fall for text scams related to the Emergency Benefit is pretty wild."
Canada's Dad having to tell us to not fall for text scams related to the Emergency Benefit is pretty wild.— Dave ™ (@Dave ™)1585236029.0
SCAM ALERT: Do not click any texts or emails regarding the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit. Be extra careful. Pay… https://t.co/APUt1eu03d— Izzy Piyale-Sheard 🌎| Career Coaching / Resources (@Izzy Piyale-Sheard 🌎| Career Coaching / Resources)1585227876.0
#ScamAlert If you get a text message saying you received a deposit for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Bewar… https://t.co/iIiQCoozuw— Finance Canada (@Finance Canada)1585239292.0
The benefit will give $2,000 a month for the next four months to Canadians who lose their income because of COVID-19.
It also replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit so the process of getting money to Canadians is streamlined.
"The hard truth is that people are out of work because of this crisis and worry about what comes next," Trudeau said when he announced this new measure on March 25.
He also said that he's hopeful the system will be ready to use by April 6.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre suggests that people protect themselves from scams by doing research and not giving out personal information like banking information or Social Insurance Numbers among other things.
People can report this text scam and other ones to the centre even if they didn't fall victim to it.