The Government of Canada says COVID-19 related scams are on the rise, particularly those related to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
Service Canada recently warned, “The Government of Canada will not reach out by text or email to ask you to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB),” and directed Canadians to this web page on how to protect themselves against fraud.
The government says new scams are being “invented daily”, with fraudsters trying to impersonate government services to seek out your personal and financial info.
Service Canada says they will never ask for your SIN, credit card number, banking info or passport data by phone, email or text message. Email and text scams usually include links to fake websites seeking your info.
“When in doubt, to verify the identity of the caller as a Service Canada employee, please hang up and contact 1-800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) directly,” says the government.
As for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), the government will not reach out to Canadians via text or email asking them to apply. Only the government of Canada website and by phone are the two ways to apply for CERB.
When in doubt, trust your instincts and don’t believe any email or text messages you receive from people claiming to be the government.
The government says any Canadians who think they have been the victim of fraud should contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501, along with local police services.