Premier Jason Kenney isn’t mincing words when it comes to his thoughts on those trying to defraud or scam vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To those who are trying to exploit seniors and others during this time of a public health emergency, there must be a special place in hell for people like that, just stop it.”
“It is completely un-Canadian, it is un-Albertan, it is unacceptable, it is illegal, and if we catch anybody engaged in these types of frauds or scams, I guarantee you the book will be thrown at them, and they will face the full force of the law.,” Kenney adds.
One scam that has recently been making the rounds takes the form of a fraudulent phone call. The caller pretends to represent Alberta Health Services, telling the victim they’ve tested positive for COVID-19. They then ask for payment via a credit card for the medication.
Recently, Health Minister Tyler Shandro publicly stated AHS would never ask for money over the phone and urges anybody who may have been approached by a scammer to call the non-emergency RCMP line.
Grande Prairie RCMP Constable Candace Hrdlicka adds it isn’t surprising that reports of scams continue to come in, as fraudsters zero in on the fear facing those in the community.
“Unfortunately, there are those out there who will take advantage of people’s vulnerability in times like these, so just remain aware and know that at no time will anybody ask you for money in regards to the health crisis going on.”
Hrdlicka adds, if anyone in the city feels like they’ve been targeted by fraudsters, they can head to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Reporting Centre.