North Vancouver RCMP warn of coronavirus-related scams

Apr 29 2020, 10:00 am

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, so do the number of scams surrounding it, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). Now, the North Vancouver RCMP has also issued a warning to the public, after one of their own was recently targeted in such a scam

Now, the North Vancouver RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries said he received a text message “promising me money from the Canadian Revenue Agency – which is actually incorrect – it’s the Canada Revenue Agency.”

He urged people to again not fall for these types of scams, noting that they are created by people who are “trying to take advantage of us during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Messages such as the one DeVries received try to trick victims into believing the Government of Canada is sending them COVID-19 relief money.

The message prompts the recipient to click a link to claim their payment, and then tricks them into sharing personal information, which is then used to create fake identities and commit additional crimes in the person’s name.

Scammers use various tactics, including:

  • Authority: Scammers will impersonate agencies of authority, such as the Canada Revenue Agency (NOTE: CRA does not contact people via text message)
  • Spoofing: Scammers change their display name, phone number or email. In emails, hover over the sender’s name, hit reply or look at the email’s properties to reveal the sender’s real email address.
  • Automation: Scammers use automated messaging to reach a large number of people at once. Depending on the information they have already collected, they can personalize the message.

For those who receive the message, police urge people to simply not click the link. If you have lost money or valuables, or provided your personal information, contact your local police. If you have been contacted but have not lost anything or given your personal information, report online to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

“Our ultimate goal is to make sure people don’t fall for these scams,” said DeVries. “Let’s do everything we can to protect and care for one another.”