Toronto police warn residents to beware of COVID-19 scams

Fraudsters are selling fake coronavirus test kits and masks

Toronto Police and the RCMP are warning citizens across the country to be wary of scammers looking to capitalize on the panic and chaos ensuing from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

According to Toronto’s emergency services, fraudsters are reportedly going door-to-door, sending texts and emails, and making unsolicited phone calls in an effort to profit from consumers’ fears. Such individuals are representing fraudulent charities; requesting money for victims, products or research; and reselling products purchased in bulk for profit.

Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg recently alerted residents to a scam selling fake COVID-19 test kits across the city.

 

 

And there are other reports of text messages claiming to be from the Canadian Red Cross.

 

 

The best way to safeguard against fraudsters is to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre‘s website for a list of known scams, and verify if the charity you’re donating to is registered.

Dan Ramos, crime prevention coordinator with the Toronto Police Service (TPS), is reminding people to share accurate information on the latest frauds with vulnerable family and friends.

 

 

In a whirlwind of misinformation and uncertainty, the most vulnerable are easy prey to those looking to exploit the crisis for financial gain. Which is why the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is reminding people not to respond to emails from unknown senders or click on suspicious links and attachments, and to never give out personal information or financial details.

The RCMP, World Health Organization and Better Business Bureau have all posted similar warnings.

 

 

Protect yourself and be on the lookout for questionable offers, including miracle cures, herbal remedies, vaccinations, faster testing, and fake and deceptive online ads.

 

Article exclusive to TRNTO