The RCMP have issued multiple warnings of fraudsters potentially using COVID-19 pretences to scam victims, but people in Nanaimo have so far been wary.
The Nanaimo RCMP put out a press release Wednesday rounding up some of the COVID-19 scams that have been going around.
“There have been only a handful of callers to the Nanaimo RCMP reporting scammers asking for donations for COVID-19,” noted the press release. “All of the callers stated they relied on a quick Google search to confirm the caller was not from a reputable agency, and then simply hung up the phone or ignored the internet postings. None of the callers to the Nanaimo RCMP reported losing any money or giving out personal information.”
Nanaimo RCMP said there have been a number of incidents in recent weeks in which scammers have gone door-to-door offering cleaning services and the like.
“While none of the callers indicated it was related to the COVID-19 outbreak, it would not be surprising to see this begin,” the press release noted.
RCMP say there have been incidents of fraudsters posing as police officers trying to impose “on-the-spot fines” to members of the public for wearing masks, saying that’s against the law, when in fact, “it is not illegal to wear a mask for health reasons.”
Some of the other coronavirus scams that RCMP have been seeing include companies offering COVID-19 tests, fraudsters asking people to invest in “hot new stocks” related to the virus, and online campaigns capitalizing on COVID-19 fears to try to collect personal information. There have also been instances of fake decontamination services being offered door-to-door, and fraudulent online sales of cleaning and health products that are in high demand.
“For the sole reason of soliciting donations and playing on your goodwill, scammers have been spreading misinformation about COVID-19, offering advice on unproven treatments, protective gear or detection kits, or fake home-sanitizing services,” the RCMP press release noted.
For more information about frauds and scams, visit www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca. Anyone who has lost money or divulged personal information to a scammer, either online or in person, can call the Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.
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