Fraud Alert: Covid-19 Vaccine Phishing Scam

August 05, 2021

Phishing is a cybersecurity threat that continues to be one of the leading forms of crime in Canada. Phishing scams are attempts to obtain usernames, passwords, and credit card details for malicious reasons by pretending to be a trustworthy, legitimate business. Educating and informing consumers and communities on how to recognize, report, and stop fraud. Together with local RCMP detachments, we create a strong awareness to spread the messages on how to better protect yourself from these types of crime.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has received reports of phishing text message scams tied to COVID-19 vaccines. The text message claim to be from the Government of Canada and will say that due to a recent vaccination, Canadians are eligible for a Vaccine Relief Fund. The message then tells you to claim your funds by clicking on a link. The goal is to steal your personal and/or financial information, which could then be used for identity fraud.

Don’t click the link and don’t provide any personal information!

Phishing scammers use logos and fake but realistic-looking email addresses to trick users into thinking they received an email from a reputable company. They will also use other tactics to trick you into clicking a malicious link that could open the door for cyber-criminals to access. In phishing scams, the texts or emails appear to be from well-known companies, social websites, banks, online processors, and IT administrators and are used to lure unsuspecting victims. These emails may also contain links to websites that are infected with malicious software that can damage your computer or device.

Prevention

Defend yourself from a Phishing attack by following the tips below.

  • Do not click links from emails or texts that you weren’t expecting, are suspicious in nature, or came from a sender, not in your contact list.
  • Spot a scam by looking for misspelt words, if the sender’s email address is suspicious looking, strange, or big requests, being redirected to a website that is “unsecure” meaning it does not begin with https: in the website address.
  • Be cautious if they don’t provide contact information.
  • Look at the sender’s email address to see if you recognize it or if it looks suspicious.
  • Avoid these attacks and ask for follow-up questions to the sender for clarification.
  • Do not overshare information on social media, as it can be used to target or impersonate you.

Scams and cybercrimes can happen to anyone. If you have been a victim of a scam, fraud, or cybercrime, please contact your local police. For more information about scams and fraud check out www.checkfirst.ca or Canada Anti-Fraud Centre at https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/in...


Friendly Reminders

Report crime online!

The RCMP are encouraging all Albertans to report eligible crimes online (select property crimes under $5,000). Reporting less serious crimes online helps emergency dispatch and frontline members focus their time on high-priority calls. It provides a convenient way to share photos to the RCMP as well. These reports assist in crime analysis, aid in establishing trends and patterns, and ultimately leads investigators to the chronic offenders. It also assists in making decisions about how and where to deploy resources. Crimes reported online will be taken just as seriously as crime reported in any other way.  

Help reduce crime, report online! #ReportSmart

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