Being aware of fraud during COVID-19
April 03, 2020
Being aware of scams and online fraud is always important, especially during times of uncertainty like COVID-19. Cybercriminals love to take advantage of us when we are feeling unsure, and, unfortunately, they are on a roll right now.
The RCMP has a full list of scams people have reported related to COVID-19 and it’s a great resource for you to check out. Scammers are pretending to be government officials, city workers, and cleaning companies to get you to trust them. In general, you should watch out for these things:
- Call or emails saying you owe money or a warrant is out for your arrest,
- Calls, texts, or emails saying you are entitled to relief funds,
- Calls or emails asking you to pay for a COVID-19 test or results, and
- Ads for fake or in-demand products (cleaning products, masks, and hand sanitizer)
Remember that fraudsters tend to create a sense of urgency to make you feel like you have to do something right that second (like you’re under arrest or claim your money now). That’s always a red flag for you to hang up or delete an email or text right away.
Read more from the RCMP: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/features-vedette/2020/covid-19-eng.htm
Keeping your information safe
The good news is there are things you can do to keep your personal information and money safe.
- Seek information from official sources.
- Avoid clicking on links in emails, especially if you don’t know who sent it. A good trick is to hover over a link to review where the link is going. Sometimes cybercriminals will use fake websites that are very close to a real one to try to trick you.
- If you didn’t initiate the call, text, or email, do not provide your credit card, banking, or any personal information.
- If you’re unsure if a call is legit, hang up and call back with a number from the official website. No one is going to fault you for being suspicious or cautious.
- Never share your online banking password with anyone.
- The RCMP recommends that you have up-to-date anti-virus software.
- Set up text alerts for your bank account (you can do this on Sunova GO Web!).
- Contact your branch or Help HQ right away if you notice any suspicious transactions.
Lastly, when it comes to your banking, make sure you are only contacting Sunova with numbers listed on our website (which is www.sunovacu.ca.)