Yesterday, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) announced it would be keeping Canadians travelling abroad informed about the COVID-19 pandemic through text messages, thought a partnership with Rogers, Bell, Telus, Videotron, Freedom Mobile, Eastlink and SaskTel.
While the system is set up to send text messages to Canadian wireless customers overseas, some Telus customers living in Canada woke up to these consular messages.
An iPhone in Canada reader and Telus customer sent us the following screenshot of the ISED text message he received just before 3AM local time, which he claims woke him up:
“I’m not overseas, I’m working from home in self-isolation. I have a Canada/U.S. plan with an iPhone Pro 11 Max, but haven’t been in the [United] States since Monday and now that the border is closed, I won’t be for some time,” explains our reader.
Initially, there was skepticism about the text message which could be seen as spam, however clicking on the shortened Bit.ly links do redirect to the Government of Canada’s websites, while the listed number is also legitimate. The full text message reads:
This is a message from the Government of Canada Registering online will help the Government contact you: bit.ly/3b8SM5A For emergency assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 613 996 8885 You can also contact a Canadian embassy or consulate: bit.ly/2TXpVvo You can find travel advisories here: bit.ly/2x62Uxz
Did you receive one of these text messages from the Government of Canada?