COVID-19: Scams, frauds and misleading claims
On this page
- Current reported scams
- Cybercrime and fraud
- Potential financial frauds
- False and misleading claims
- Raising awareness of COVID-19 disinformation
Current reported scams
There are a number of report scams related to COVID-19:
Cybercrime and fraud
As COVID-19 continues to spread, criminals are exploiting the health crisis to facilitate fraud and cybercrime. They are trying to profit from people’s fear and reliance on technology. Canadians should be cautious of potential COVID-19 scams and other cyber threats involving websites, emails, texts and calls.
- Beware of unsolicited emails, phone calls or texts, especially related to COVID-19
- Do not click on any suspicious links or attachments in emails or texts
- Do not be pressured into providing personal information or money
- Follow up with individuals, companies or charities using verified contact information that you find on their official website
- Make sure you have anti-virus software installed and keep your operating system up to date
If you become aware of or have been the victim of fraud or cybercrime, including COVID-19 scams and cyber threats, contact your local police and report online to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Fraud Reporting System.
- Staying cyber-healthy during COVID-19 from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security
- Get Cyber Safe offers Three ways to stay cyber secure during the pandemic
Potential financial frauds
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, fraudsters will try to take advantage of consumers. 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.
False and misleading claims
We have not approved any product to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. Selling unauthorized health products or making false or misleading claims to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada. We take this matter very seriously and we are taking action to stop this activity.
Health Canada has published a list of hard surface disinfectant and hand sanitizers that are likely to be effective for use against COVID-19. This list is updated regularly. Although they do not claim to kill viruses such as COVID-19, cleaners play a role in helping limit the transfer of microorganisms.
We encourages anyone who has information regarding potential non-compliant sale or advertising of any health product claiming to treat, prevent or cure COVID-19, to report it using our online complaint form.
Raising awareness of COVID-19 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.
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