On July 12, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) notified the public that they had received reports of phishing text messages which are part of a scam tied to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The texts claim they were sent by the Government of Canada. They go on to say that the recipient is eligible for money from a vaccine relief fund which can be claimed by clicking a link.
Yukoners used social media to warn others that they had received the scam texts.
“The goal is to steal your personal and/or financial information, which can be used for identity fraud. Don’t click the link and don’t provide any personal information,” the CAFC warning about the scam reads.
The text is the latest way fraudsters are using the pandemic as a pretense for their scams. The CAFC says people should also be aware of scam artists posing as loan or financial service companies, public health agencies, the Red Cross or other charities or companies offering COVID-19 tests or fraudulent products they claim will cure or prevent the disease.
The Yukon RCMP is aware of the scams circulating in the area and warned people not to trust phone calls or text messages from unknown sources. Police say the COVID-19 vaccine phishing scam, which made a false offer of $85 for those who received their vaccine, joins scammers impersonating utility or phone companies offering false refunds. Scams where the caller is able to make their caller ID appear like it is coming from a reputable company are also targeting Yukoners.
The police advise people to avoid responding to suspicious calls or text messages rather than following any prompts, clicking any links or answering any questions.