NT RCMP advise beware of COVID-19 scams

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – As COVID-19 pandemic continues, and people are facing uncertainties, fears and misinformation, NT RCMP would like to warn the public of COVID-19 related frauds.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, in a recent bulletin, has compiled a list of COVID-19 related frauds to watch for.

In some instances, fraudsters are posing as “companies”: loan and financial service companies or cleaning/heating companies. The “companies” are offering financial relief, or are requesting urgent payment for a service.

Some fraudsters might pretend to be offering fast COVID-19 tests for sale or selling fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent the disease.

Covid 19 Scam ALERT RCMP
Covid 19 Scam ALERT RCMP

In other cases, the fraudsters are posing as a government representative, like the Public Heath Agency of Canada. They will give you false results saying you have been tested positive for COVID-19, or they will trick you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription. Under the same false pretense, they could send out coronavirus-themed phishing emails, or trick you into opening malicious attachments or reveal sensitive personal and financial details.

Scammers could pose as hydro/electrical power companies, and threatening to disconnect your power for non-payment.

A fraudster could pretend to be working for the Red Cross or other known charities, and offer free medical products (e.g. masks) for a donation.

Finally, beware of financial advisors pressuring you to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease, or of door-to-door sales people selling household decontamination services.

How to protect yourself:

Beware of unsolicited calls, emails and texts requesting urgent action or payment and/or offering medical advice, financial relief, or government assistance and compensation.

Remember: if you did not initiate contact, you don’t know who you are communicating to. Never respond or click on suspicious links and attachments. Just by clicking on the link could open the door to malware and disclosure of your personal or financial information. Never give out your personal or financial details.

Beware of questionable offers, such as miracle cures, herbal remedies, vaccinations and faster testing.

Refer to Government of Canada COVID-19 health, financial and security resources: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Refer to Financial Consumer Agency of Canada COVID-19 information: https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/industry/covid-19-how-fcac-responding.html

Reference the latest health information from these legitimate sources: Public Health Agency of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Make sure you have anti-virus software installed and keep your operating system up to date.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca. NT RCMP also encourage to report to your local RCMP detachment.

Learn about fraud by visiting: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca

Northwest Territories RCMP

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