Text and email scams related to COVID-19 on the rise: report

Some scammers pretend to process EI requests then steal users' personal information

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Text and email scams are surging, as fraudsters continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to prey on people.

In one instance, scammers are pretending to process EI claims and asking users to enter personal details, according to a report from the CBC. The information is then accessed by fraudsters.

Since numerous Canadians have lost their jobs and are applying for EI, criminals are taking advantage of the situation to prey on people who are already vulnerable.

Other scammers disguise themselves as Shoppers Drug Mart or the Public Health Agency of Canada. In all of these instances, the scammers attempt to steal the user’s information or money. In some cases, scammers try to infect the user’s device with malware.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Canadians about a text scam that poses as the federal government offering people an emergency financial benefit. Trudeau advised Canadians to only use the government’s websites in order to access accurate information.

It should also be noted that the only way to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be through an online portal that the government will launch shortly.

On a global scale, the United Nations has warned users worldwide that scammers are posing as the World Health Organization (WHO) to steal money and obtain sensitive information through phishing scams.

Source: CBC News