Known Scams Related to COVID-19 – Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

The CAFC, which works with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Competition Bureau and Ontario Provincial Police, is urging Canadians to be vigilant as fraudsters look to exploit the COVID-19 crisis.


Spoofed government, healthcare or research information

Unsolicited calls, emails and texts giving medical advice or requesting urgent action or payment

  • If you didn’t initiate contact, you don’t know who you’re communicating to
  • Never respond or click on suspicious links and attachments
  • Never give out your personal or financial details

Unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims, products or research

High-priced or low-quality products purchased in bulk by consumers and resold for profit

  • These items may be expired and/or dangerous to your health

Questionable offers, such as:

  • miracle cures
  • herbal remedies
  • vaccinations
  • faster testing

Fake and deceptive online ads, including:

  • cleaning products
  • hand sanitizers
  • other items in high demand


Fraudsters are posing as:

Cleaning or heating companies

  • offering duct cleaning services or air filters to protect from COVID-19

Local and provincial hydro/electrical power companies

  • threatening to disconnect your power for non-payment

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization

  • offering fake lists for sale of COVID-19 infected people in your neighbourhood

Public Health Agency of Canada

  • giving false results saying you have been tested positive for COVID-19
  • tricking you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription

Red Cross and other known charities

  • offering free medical products (e.g. masks) for a donation

Government departments

  • sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails
  • tricking you into opening malicious attachments
  • tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details

Financial advisors

  • pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease
  • offering financial aid and/or loans to help you get through the shut downs

Door-to-door sales people

  • selling household decontamination services

Private companies

  • offering fast COVID-19 tests for sale — only health care providers can perform the tests — n o other tests are genuine or guaranteed to provide accurate results
  • selling fraudulent products that claim to treat or prevent the disease — u napproved drugs threaten public health and violate federal laws


  • Reference the latest health information from these legitimate sources: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)  (Public Health Agency of Canada);  Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak (World Health Organization)
  • Contact your insurance provider to answer any health insurance questions
  • Make sure you have anti-virus software installed and keep your operating system up to date

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