Rimbey RCMP are warning residents of scams using the COVID-19 outbreak as a cover.
Scams associated with the global pandemic have been cropping up, feeding on people’s fear, uncertainty and misinformation during a difficult time.
“Fraudsters are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cyber-crime,” Rimbey RCMP said in a press release.
Scammers are using many different means to attempt to exploit innocent victims.
There have been a number of reported scams concerning COVID-19.
These scams include door-to-door sales people, and people posing as an official from the Red Cross.
RCMP say they following scams that have been reported:
- 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, 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 hospitals can perform the test. No other tests are genuine or guaranteed to provide accurate results and the selling fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent the disease threaten public health and violate federal laws
RCMP are reminding residents to be mindful and award of the following:
- Spoofed government, healthcare or research information
- Unsolicited calls, emails and texts giving medical advice or requesting urgent action or payment
- Unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims, products or research
- 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
It is important to remember where to find trusted information and advice about COVID-19.
For the latest updates on health information look to the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization, RCMP say.
Any questions or concerns about any health insurance should be directed to your insurance provider.
RCMP also recommend having anti-virus software install on your devices to protect from suspicious email or ads online.