Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre - COVID-19 Frauds

Mar 20, 2020

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread globally, the CAFC is warning the public to be on the lookout for associated scams. Fraudsters are creative and want to profit from consumers’ fears, uncertainties and misinformation.

The following examples have been shared by consumers in other countries:

  • Private companies offering ‘fast’ covid-19 tests for sale. Only hospitals are currently authorized to perform the tests. No other tests are genuine or guaranteed to provide accurate results.
  • Consumers are purchasing large amounts of products and reselling them at higher prices. These products may be expired, of lower quality and increase your health risks.
  • Fraudsters are creating fraudulent and deceptive online ads offering cleaning products, hand sanitizers and other items in high demand.
  • Fraudsters are sending phishing, spear phishing and other malicious email campaigns that capitalize on the public’s fears about COVID-19
  • Fraudsters have been going door-to-door offering fake decontamination services.
  • The FTC & FDA (USA) have warned several companies selling fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent the disease. No such products have been approved. The unapproved drugs threaten public health and violate federal laws.
  • Fraudsters posing as police have been imposing on-the-spot fines to consumers wearing masks. They claim that wearing a mask in public goes against a full-face veil law. It is not illegal to wear a mask for health reasons.
  • Fraudsters may urge you to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease.
  • Fraudsters are sending phishing, spear phishing and other malicious email campaigns that capitalize on the public’s fears about Covid-19.
  • Fraudsters are creating fraudulent and deceptive online ads offering cleaning products, hand sanitizers and other items in high demand.

 

Warning Signs – How to Protect Yourself

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.

This document is the property of the CAFC. It is loaned to your agency/department in confidence and it is not to be reclassified, copied, reproduced, used or further disseminated, in whole or part, without the consent of the originator. It is not to be used in affidavits, court proceedings or subpoenas or for any other legal or judicial purposes. This caveat is an integral part of this document and must accompany any information extracted from it.