Stay Safe From COVID-19 Scams and Fraud

Date: March 9, 2021

Fraudsters will use any opportunity to swindle their victims out of money. With the pandemic, we’re spending more time online doing work or shopping for things, the number of touchpoints between technology and our interactions with other people has increased on a day-to-day basis. With an increase in digital, including email, scams going around related to COVID-19, we all must remain diligent against fraud, now more than ever. Here are some reminders: 

Keep an eye out for some of these common scams:

  • Requests for credit card or banking information from the government or health providers over the phone.
  • Emails that look legitimate but ask you to click links to do things like donate money or take immediate action.
  • Emails that’s purpose is to scare the viewer into clicking illegitimate links. Emails such as “Signup for vaccination” click here to learn more.
  • Emails telling you to open attachments from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Government of Manitoba for important COVID-19 information. Clicking these attachments might not be safe.
  • Emails from someone at your company requesting personal information or asking you to send an urgent wire transfer.
  • Emails or texts from financial institutions that ask you to click a link to be pre-approved for a loan.

Ways you can practice good cyber-security:

  • Be wary of emails or texts that ask you to do things out of the ordinary.
  • Don’t open attachments from someone you don’t know, even if it’s a business.
  • If you are sent a link in an email and are told to click it, hover over the URL to see the address of the link, it may not be taking you to where it says it will—exercise caution when it comes to links or attachments.
  • Even if you receive an email or text from a business and the link looks like it’s legitimate, don’t click the link. Instead, visit their website and find the information there. Some email scammers pose as reputable businesses to get you to click links. It is better to go to the website of that business directly to get information.
  • Do not provide any financial/credit card or personal information to anyone via email, text or over the phone, even if it sounds legitimate.
  • If you aren’t sure if somethings legitimate, find the company or business website and confirm with them directly if they sent you that email, text or call.

And of course, when in doubt, err on the side of caution.

If you have questions or want more information please contact our Virtual Services team or call at 1-877-WESTOBA.

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