COVID-19: Frauds and scams

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Current scams

There are a number of reported scams related to COVID-19.

Listing of known COVID-19 scams

CERB and CESB payment scams

We will not reach out by text or email to ask you to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB), and we will not notify you by text or email that you have received a payment.

Applying for the CERB and the CESB is free. There are only 2 ways to apply:

CERB and CESB repayment scams

Beware of fraudulent emails, texts or calls about repaying the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or repaying the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. There are official ways to make a repayment.

When a scammer contacts you

If someone says they are from the Government

Many frauds and scams attempt to mimic real federal government services to gain access to your personal and financial information.

If someone says they are from a financial institution

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is warning Canadians to be very cautious when receiving emails or text messages that appear to be from a financial institution asking for personal or financial information.

Financial institution fraudulent call

Reporting a fraud or scam

If you or a family member have been contacted by a scammer, report it to us — even if you didn't give them any money.

Protecting your identity and technology

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security offers the tips to cyber-healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

False and misleading claims

Health Canada is working with companies, academic research centres and investigators globally to help expedite the development and availability of treatments to prevent and treat COVID-19. Learn more about Drugs and vaccines being developed or authorized for COVID-19.

Claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19

Selling unauthorized health products like drugs, medical devices and natural health products or making false or misleading claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada. Find out how to report and see incidents that have been investigated.

Health product advertising incidents related to COVID-19

Choosing the right disinfectant

Health Canada has a frequently updated list of hard surface disinfectant and hand sanitizers that are likely to be effective for use against COVID-19.

List of disinfectants with evidence for use against COVID-19

Combating disinformation

The Government of Canada is investing $3 million to help combat false and misleading COVID-19 information as well as the racism and stigmatization that are often the result.

Supporting Canadians to think critically about online health information

The impact of COVID-19 fraud

Source: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

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