Beware of these COVID-19 fraud schemes as per the SPVM

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According to the SPVM webiste: While strict measures are put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, fraudsters take advantage of the situation to claim new victims. The SPVM invites you to be vigilant in this context and to protect yourself against their schemes by being well informed.

Examples of fraudulent schemes

Fraudsters use several different means to achieve their ends. In order to solicit donations, payments or personal information, they can in particular pose as representatives:

a cleaning company;
from the Public Health Agency of Canada;
of the Red Cross;
from the World Health Organization;
government departments.
Fraudsters also tend to take advantage of public rumors, fears and uncertainties for the sole purpose of committing scams or cybercrimes. To achieve this, they use various means to reach potential victims, such as:

texting;
telephone calls;
emails;
or door to door.

Prevention tips

To protect yourself and avoid falling into their trap, follow these prevention tips:

Beware of false or misleading information;
Beware of expensive and substandard products, but also of the miracle cures offered (beware of offers that are too attractive or easy);
Beware of unsolicited emails from medical advisories containing links or attachments;
Beware of unauthorized charities asking for a donation in exchange for a product;
Never click on links, rather go directly to the official site;
Find out about the official websites of recognized organizations before submitting any personal information (credit card number, social insurance, etc.). It is quite rare for government agencies to request such information by text and even email.
Before making a donation, giving personal information or doing business with a company, you can also find out by consulting the following sites:

Anti-Fraud Center
Public Health Agency of Canada
World Health Organization
To check if a charity is duly registered: Canada Revenue Agency
Fraudulent solicitation from seniors

People aged 70 who must stay at home because of the measures recommended by the government of Quebec can be targeted by fraudsters. You can consult prevention tips written for them here.

To get help or report fraud

Contact your neighborhood police station if malicious people have asked you to quickly inform the police by calling 514-280-01XX (XX corresponding to the PDQ number). For all emergencies, call 911.

You can also report the fraud anonymously and confidentially to Info-Crime Montreal online or by calling 514 393-1133. You can also call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1 888 495-8501.

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