Be aware of COVID-19 scams: Lethbridge Police

Lethbridge, Alberta – While Lethbridge Police haven’t received many complaints with respect to COVID-19 scams, it’s important for members of the public to be aware and remain vigilant.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre advises citizens that common COVID-19 scams involve fraudsters 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

COVID-19 Scam ALERT
COVID-19 Scam ALERT

• 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

• Only health care providers can perform the tests

• No 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

The public is urged to protect themselves and 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

In addition, some agencies in Alberta are also seeing an uptick in romance scams as more people self-isolate or work from home. In romance scams, fraudsters use fake profiles on social media and dating apps to gain the trust of their victims over a period of time before stealing from them.

For more resources about COVID-19 scams, the Better Business Bureau has also complied a variety information to help citizens recognize fraud and prevent themselves from becoming a victim. https://www.bbb.org/ca/news/scams

Lethbridge Police Service



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