COVID-19: Frauds and scams
On this page
- Current scams
- When a scammer contacts you
- Reporting a fraud or scam
- Protecting your identity and technology
- False and misleading claims
- Combating disinformation
There are a number of reported scams related to COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines frauds and scams
Do not buy COVID-19 vaccines online or from unauthorized sources. The only way to access safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is through clinics organized or endorsed by your local public health authority in collaboration with Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments. Learn about vaccines that are approved for use in Canada.
If you have information about fraudulent vaccines, please report them to Health Canada through our online complaints form.
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.
The CERB and CESB are now closed to applications. You can no longer apply for these benefits.
CERB and CESB repayment scams
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.
- Identifying a Service Canada or 1 800 O-Canada fraudulent call
- Identifying a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) fraudulent call
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.
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.
- Staying cyber-healthy during COVID-19
- Get Cyber Safe Blog:
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.
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.
Exposure to electromagnetic fields
Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from 5G devices doesn't spread COVID-19. There is no scientific basis behind these claims.
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.
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