A photo of the scam email Lorraine Bell received from what purports to be from Canada Revenue Agency. (Submitted)

COVID-19: Parksville Qualicum Beach residents urged to be alert for online scams

Resident advises people not to respond to bogus emails

Parksville Qualicum Beach residents should be on the alert for potential internet scams.

Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman indicated that the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the RCMP are seeing an increase in fake emails, social media posts and texts trying to trick people.

“Most of the scams involve trying to convince potential victims into believing that they originated from the Government of Canada and revolve around COVID-19 relief money,” said Foreman.

”Be extremely vigilant. If any message is asking you to click an unknown link or asking for any personal information — STOP, you are about to be scammed.”

Foreman also pointed out that Canada Revenue Agency does not contact people via text.

Local resident Lorraine Bell is among those who received a scam email.

The email had a name, Elaine Moore of Canada Revenue Agency. She informed Bell that she have received a refund of $2,601.58 from the CRA and asked her to choose a financial institution to deposit the money. The refund it says expires on May 25, 2020.

Bell warns that it’s a scam. She sent the PQB News a copy of the email and advised people in the community not to respond to the email and not to divulge their private info unless they are very certain of the source.

READ MORE: RCMP warns of COVID-19 scams spreading through B.C.

The Government of Canada warns against various types of COVID-19 scams including:

• private companies offering fast COVID-19 tests for sale;

• consumers are purchasing large amounts of products and reselling them at higher prices;

• fraudsters going door-to-door offering fake decontamination services;

• fraudsters urging to hot new stocks related to the disease and fraudulent and deceptive ads.

To protect yourself, the government advised to:

• beware of false or misleading information;

• contact your insurance provider to answer any health insurance questions;

• beware of high-priced or low-quality products;

• beware of unsolicited medical advisory emails with links or attachments;

• beware of miracle cures, herbal remedies, and other questionable offers like vaccines and beware of unauthorized or fraudulent charities requesting money for victims or research.

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