A pandemic is a trying time for everyone. And the sad reality is that there will always be fraudsters trying to make money off society’s collective fear and uncertainty. Scams have included fraudulent – and potentially deadly – cures and treatments, email/phone scams, and e-commerce account takeovers and shipping fraud.

It’s disheartening, to say the least.

Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. COVID-19 is still new, and there’s currently no cure or treatment available. Scientists and drug makers are diligently working towards a vaccine, with promising results. But vaccines and treatments still need to undergo the testing process, which takes time.

The best way to protect your health (and your family’s health) is to adhere to the protocols health agencies the world over have already promoted – social distancing and frequent, proper hand washing. Get your COVID-19 updates directly from reputable sources such as Health Canada, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, or the World Health Organization. And don’t forget the basics – get plenty of sleep, try to eat well, and get some exercise (via home workout or a walk along a quiet neighbourhood street).

And since everyone is doing more shopping online, you’ll need to be diligent with your digital health, too.

  • Never click links in emails or SMS messages. If you’re wondering if an email or text is legitimate, go directly to the company or organization’s main website and contact them via the methods outlined on their contact page.
  • Protect your personal information. Never divulge your banking, passwords, or other personal details to anyone.
  • For online banking and shopping, always choose strong passwords – and change them frequently. 
  • Ensure your anti-virus software is installed and up-to-date.

It’s a good time to review our previous blog posts about cyber security, and you’ll want to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the Federal Trade Commission‘s websites for up-to-date information on COVID-related scams.

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