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by Salvatore Lavorata and Nathan Jang
April 9, 2020

Protect Yourself from COVID-19 Related Scams

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve and spread globally, be sure to watch out for and protect yourself from COVID-19 related scams. Scammers are rampant and will be looking to profit by exploiting consumers’ fears during this crisis. 

How do you protect yourself from these cybercriminals?

A good place to start is by being extra vigilant and educating yourself on the latest reported scams currently affecting Canadians.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the most common methods used by scammers to initiate their scams are by email, phone, or text.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself Against COVID-19 Related Scams?

To avoid getting into a compromising situation, here are some helpful tips you can use to safeguard yourself from:

  • Email Scams
    • Do not click on links or open attachments inside emails unless it’s one you are expecting from a specific sender.

    • Even links or attachments from people you know should not be opened unless you expect them to be sending you something specific. They may have been hacked themselves and the hacker or scammer is now using their email address and contact list.

    • If in doubt, always call the person that sent you the email.

    • Always check that the email address of the sender is valid and that the URLs are familiar.

    • Do not click on any browser popups or visit any unknown websites on the Internet. It’s best to stick with reputable websites only, such as government websites and other well-known trusted sources.

  • Text Messaging Scams
    • Do not click on any links within a text message you receive from an unknown number or someone posing to be from a Government agency such as the CRA. Government agencies typically never initiate communication with individuals via text message.

  • Phone Call Scams
    • Phone call scams related to COVID-19 are increasing daily. Do not provide any personal information if you receive a phone call from someone pretending to be from the CRA to complete your Emergency Response Benefit application. Generally, CRA sends all pertinent correspondence via post mail.

Trusted Resources Available to Canadians

Our Manning Elliott blog will help keep you informed about how this pandemic is affecting businesses but you should also stay up to date on the latest information and tips to safeguard yourself against COVID-19 related scams. 

  • For health, financial and security resources, please refer to the Government of Canada website here

  • For information on managing financial health during these difficult times, click here

  • For the latest health information pertaining to COVID-19, please refer to the following legitimate sources:

    • Public Health Agency of Canada

    • World Health Organization

    • Connect with your insurance provider or insurance professional to help answer any health insurance questions you may have

    • Ensure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and keep your operating system up to date.

  • To view a sample of a telephone scam, click here

  • For information on how to recognize and avoid phishing scams, click here

Think you can’t be fooled by a phishing email? Try taking this 10-minute phishing quiz created by Google to test your readiness:

Take the quiz