Servus may reach out to members during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we will never:
- Ask you for any account or personal information through text message or email
- Ask you for banking passwords or passwords for personal devices
Remember, don’t provide personal information on calls you don’t make. If you ever feel uncertain while on a call "coming from Servus", hang up the phone and call us directly at 1.877.378.8728.
Scammers are using the fear created from COVID-19 for their benefit. Various scams are happening now, and new ones continue to appear. The best line of defence in the chaos is to know what scams are happening and to learn ways you can protect yourself.
Stay alert for new frauds
The Government of Canada's anti-fraud centre updates regularly with COVID-19 related frauds in Canada. Visit this website often for accurate and trusted information.
Known COVID-19 scams
False information emails
Scammers pose as trusted organizations, the government or public health agencies and share information on COVID-19. Their goal is to have you click a malicious link in the email.
Medical advice emails
Phishers send emails offering bogus medical advice to help protect you against the coronavirus or cure you of it. Their goal is to have you click a malicious link or buy a fraudulent product (a fake COVID-19 testing kit).
Corporate policy emails
Scammers know more people are working from home. They’re posing as Human Resource departments and sending malicious emails to staff in organizations. Their goal is to have you click a fake infectious disease plan that’s linked to malicious software.
Many COVID-19 themed websites have appeared since the pandemic started. These websites are using real-time data from trusted sites (e.g. the John Hopkins COVID-19 map), while prompting visitors to download malicious software.
Evolving COVID-19 scams
The RCMP released a report listing other COVID-19 related scams to be aware of, including:
- Unsolicited calls, emails and texts giving medical advice or requesting urgent action or payment. A majority of these texts are claiming to be from Canadian banks and public health agencies.
- Unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims, products or research.
- Door-to-door salespeople selling household decontamination services.
- Private companies offering fast COVID-19 tests for sale.
It’s important to stay up to date as these scams evolve. Visit the Government of Canada’s anti-fraud centre regularly.
Protecting yourself against fraud
- Ignore unsolicited phone calls, phony text messages or pop-up windows that request personal or confidential information.
- Only download software from trusted sources. If you haven’t verified a website, don’t download any of its programs. For all COVID-19 related information, stick to government and public health agency websites.
- Keep your banking credentials to yourself. Always.
- Learn how to spot a phishing attempt. Do not click on hyperlinks in emails or text messages without first verifying the address. You can hover over the link to reveal the address.
- Take your time before responding and reacting to emails, text messages and calls you receive. Sometimes taking an extra minute to ask yourself, “Does this feel right?” is all you need to start investigating further.
As the situation around COVID-19 escalates it’s normal to feel lost with information overload. Keep your personal safety and security top of mind, and visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Fraud Centre regularly.