Crime Stoppers image

Crime Stoppers image

Crime Stoppers warning of COVID-19 related scams

It has issued a public warning about some of the scams out there, which in particular target the elderly

Scam artists are busy at work trying to separate folks from their money through new COVID-19 related schemes.

Constable Richard Wright said while Surrey Mounties had not been inundated with complaints, at least before press time, “We want everyone to be aware of the scams.”

Crime Stoppers on Tuesday issued a public warning about some of the scams out there, which in particular target the elderly.

These include “duct cleaning companies” offering services or filters that allegedly protect people from the coronavirus, “utility companies” threatening to disconnect power for non-payment, people claiming to be representatives of centres for disease control or the World Health Organization hawking fake lists of people infected with COVID-19 who are living near you, and fake offers for COVID-19 testing which is only done by health authorities.

Some scammers claiming to be with the “Public Health Agency of Canada” have been contacting people asking for health card and credit card numbers for COVID-19 prescriptions. Others claim to be with charities such as Red Cross, offering medical gear or masks for a “donation,” or are going door-to-door, selling household “decontamination” services.

Surrey City Councillor Linda Annis is also the executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.

“Fraud is as much a crime as any other, yet only five per cent of the tips Crime Stopppers receive relate to fraudulent crime,” Annis said. “Fraud costs Canadians millions of dollars and criminals shouldn’t get away with it. If you call us and pass on information on a fraudulent crime, we guarantee you will be totally anonymous, never go to court and could be eligible for a cash reward.”

homelessphoto

Linda Annis. (File photo)

For more information, Crime Stoppers can be reached at 1-800-222-8477, or online at solvecrime.ca

Meantime, Corporal Daniel Michaud of the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime, also noted British Columbians are being targeted by scam artists who are trying to make a buck on people’s fear and their desire to protect themselves from the virus. This comes in the form of websites selling bogus products, and fraudsters using fake emails, text messages and social media posts as a ruse to get at victims’ cash and personal information.

“The emails and posts may be promoting awareness and prevention tips, and fake information about cases in your neighbourhood,” Michaud noted. “They also may be asking you to donate to victims, offering advice on unproven treatments, offering protective gear or detection kits, or fake home sanitizing services.”

Michaud noted there are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat COVID-19 or prevent infection.

“The current forecast to have efficient vaccines available for the general public is months away and will be communicated via legitimate government and health authorities,” he said.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

CoronavirusSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A new Fraser Valley food hub in Abbotsford will include shared kitchen space that can be accessed by small and medium-sized businesses. (Stock photo by Robyn Wright from Pixabay)
Almost $2M to support new Fraser Valley food hub in Abbotsford

Project being developed by District of Mission and Mission Community Skills Centre

Lucas Frost at the trailhead of Teapot Hill. (Lucas Frost)
Hiking Teapot Hill for organization that helps homeless youth in Chilliwack

Lucas Frost hopes his hiking fundraiser for Cyrus Centre will help get some kids off the street

Nietzsche, the ginger cat who worked at The Book Man, poses for a photo on Sept. 7, 2017. He died on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Famous Chilliwack bookstore cat, Nietzsche, dies

‘Every single thing you could want in a cat, Nietzsche embodied,’ says Amber Price

Trustees and staff at the Chilliwack School District congratulate Carin Bondar, middle row at right, after her oath of office meeting on Feb. 23, 2021. (Screenshot)
Chilliwack’s newest school trustee takes oath of office

Carin Bondar won byelection on Feb. 13, filling seat left empty by Coulter

Mark Strahl, MP of Chilliwack-Hope in the House of Commons, Oct. 22, 2020. (Christian Diotte/House of Commons photo)
Chilliwack-Hope MP has new role in Parliament

Strahl elected vice chair of a special committee of the House on Canada-U.S. economic relations

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Travis Selje with Rex, the family dog he got to enjoy for the final six months of his life. (Submitted photo)
Defence says evidence ‘compelling, overwhelming’ to acquit Surrey woman in deadly crash

Epileptic seizure caused fatal crash that killed Travis Selje, lawyer argues in final submissions

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Head of internal medicine at Chilliwack General Hospital Dr. Shari Sajjadi talks about the positive feedback hospital staff have received over this last year in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Dr. Shari Sajjadi says a simple ‘thank you’ helps keep up spirits of healthcare workers

‘We are so thankful for the positive feedback we are getting from our patients’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Justin Morissette is still recovering from the injuries sustained in the altercation. He is not yet able to walk without assistance. (Justin Morissette, Twitter)
B.C. man suing city and police over violent altercation with anti-LGBTQ preacher

Justin Morissette argues police knew the threat the preacher posed, and failed to keep the peace

A male customer without a face mask is seen inside a Burnaby Canadian Tire amidst an altercation with store security and staff members. (Video/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Man arrested after allegedly punching Burnaby Canadian Tire staff over mask rule

Mounties received reports Monday of a customer having punched more than one employee

Most Read