Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre warns residents about Coronavirus related scams

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is advising residents that Coronavirus related scams developed in other countries may soon be showing up in Canada.

The CAFC released a bulletin on Friday warning residents about a number of potential dangers. They include private companies offering “fast” COVID-19 tests for sale, or selling fraudulent products that can allegedly treat or prevent the virus.

In Saskatchewan, COVID-19 tests are only available by referral through a family physician, nurse practitioner or from health line 811. Results are typically available in two to three days. There is also no known cure or vaccine for the virus.

Other fraudulent activity includes deceptive online advertising offering cleaning products, hand sanitizers, or other items in high demand, individuals selling expired health products at inflated prices, or phishing, spear phishing and other malicious email campaigns targeting the public’s fears about COVID-19. Some campaigns also urge residents to buy new stocks related to the virus, or have individuals going door-to-door offering fake documentation services.

“Fraudsters are creative and want to profit from consumers’ fears, uncertainties and misinformation,” the bulletin reads.

The CAFC advises residents to check the Public health Agency of Canada or the World Health Organization websites for the most up to date information on COVID-19. The organization also urges residents to consult their insurance provider if they have any health insurance questions.

They also advise residents to beware of advisory emails from spoofed government or healthcare organizations, and to make sure anyone asking for financial donations is part of a registered charity.

For more information, visit www.antifraudcentre.ca. If you think you have been a victim of fraud, or someone you know is a victim, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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