On March 13th, 2020, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre issued a bulletin advising people about some of the different types of scams that have been reported to them by consumers in other countries. Here are some of the scams that have been reported in other countries:
- Some private companies offering ‘fast’ COVID-19 tests for sale. TRUTH:Only hospitals are currently authorized to perform the tests. No other tests are genuine or guaranteed to provide accurate results.
- Fraudsters are creating fraudulent and deceptive online ads offering cleaning products, hand sanitizers and other items in high demand.
- Phishing and malicious e-mail campaigns that capitalize on people’s fears about COVID-19.
- The FTC & FDA in the United States have warned several companies selling fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent the disease. TRUTH:No such products have been approved. The unapproved drugs threaten public health and violate federal laws.
- Fraudsters may urge you to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease.
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF?
- Beware of false or misleading information.
- Contact your insurance provided to answer any health insurance questions.
- Beware of high-priced or low-quality products.
- Beware of unsolicited medical advisory emails with links or attachments. Fraudsters may spoof the information of government and health care organizations.
- Beware of miracle cures, herbal remedies and other questionable offers (i.e. vaccinations, faster tests, etc.)
- Beware of unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims or research. You should never be pressured into making a donation.
- Ensure you’re getting your information and updates on COVID-19 from a reliable and trustworthy government source.