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

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.

ArriveCan fraud

Be cautious of third party, fraudulent webpages and apps that may be posing as ArriveCAN and asking you for payment. ArriveCAN is free and secure and is the official Government of Canada platform to provide your information when entering Canada.

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

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

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.

Health effects of cell phones, cell phone towers, antennas and 5G devices

The impact of COVID-19 fraud

Source: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

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