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COVID-19 related scams continue to spike in Alberta

Grande Prairie residents are being urged to keep vigilant as the number of COVID-19 related scams seen across the province continues to rise.

The RCMP says the most common reports are fraudulent merchandise sales and phishing emails, which often involves selling or giving away products like facemasks and COVID-19 tests, with the victim asked to pay fake shipping fee to receive the goods.

Mounties say the fraudsters often imitate legitimate agencies like the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, Public Health Canada, and the Canada Revenue Agency. Police say those contacted through email or SMS are usually provided with a link that asks for personal and banking information.

Police have also released several tips which could help protect people if they believe they’re being targeted by scammers:

  •  Never give out personal or financial details if you didn’t initiate the call.
  •  If you didn’t initiate the contact, you don’t know who you’re talking to.
  •  Don’t click on suspicious links or attachments.
  •  Install anti-virus software.
  •  Be skeptical of emails even if they, look legitimate.
  •  Check the “from” address by hovering over the name.
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Anyone who has been targetted by scammers is also urged to fill out a report through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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