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Coronavirus: RCMP warn Canadians about CERB fraudsters and scams

Police are warning Canadians of third-party companies offering to assist with government applications, including CERB.
Police are warning Canadians of third-party companies offering to assist with government applications, including CERB. THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Canadian Anti Fraud Centre has received over 1,000 reports of criminals trying to profit from COVID-19, the RCMP say.

The RCMP urges the public to be watchful for potential frauds and scams.

“Since the Government of Canada launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), it has become the subject of a number of scams,” said Cpl. Daniel Michaud, a RCMP media relations officer.

“The CAFC continues to receive reports of service scams, phishing scams and identity fraud related to the CERB.”

READ MORE: Canadian accountants’ association suffers cyberattack; data of nearly 330K affected

Police are warning Canadians of third-party companies offering to assist with government applications, including CERB.

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“Once you receive your funds, you also receive an invoice for their services. Some companies may suggest that this fee covers the taxable portion of the income,” said Michaud.

“Additionally, many of these companies may seem to be associated with the government, but they are not.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Police in Okanagan issue CERB text scam warning

Criminals are also using stolen identities to open banks accounts and are submitting CERB applications under the stolen identity.

Phishing scams are also prevalent, according to the police.

“Phishing scams are sent by email or text, and the messaging suggests that you can submit an application, that your information needs to be confirmed or that your payment is ready,” Michaud said in a release.

“If you click the included link, you will be directed to a fraudulent website and asked to submit your personal information. Providing your personal or financial information puts you at-risk for identity fraud.”

Police say if you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at their website.

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