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Beware of Online Scams and Frauds Related to COVID-19

COVID-19 Scams & Frauds and How to Protect Yourself

We live in a time when online scams and frauds are an unsettling issue for every business in any industry.

Now, with more and more people staying indoors to protect themselves from the recent rapid growing concern of COVID-19, more people and more companies than ever before are vulnerable to online scams and frauds.

Unbelievable as it may sound, Global News reported that many Albertans are currently receiving phone calls from unknown numbers, announcing to them that they are positive for COVID-19 and that a credit card number is required.

Meanwhile others are taking advantage of the Internet to scam people in other ways. They’re offering Canadians a rebate on taxes to help support people during this difficult time, asking for personal information, including their credit card numbers.

Types of Online Scams and Frauds

Huronia Insurance Group would like you to please be cautious when giving away personal information including phone numbers, mailing address, social insurance number, and/or credit card numbers.

We would also like to inform you of some of the current scams surfacing:

  • Private companies providing discounted COVID-19 tests.
  • Consumers reselling products at higher prices than purchased.
  • Fraudsters going door-to-door offering illegitimate decontamination services.
  • Fraudsters modelling themselves as police and issuing “fines” to consumers wearing protective face masks.
  • Fraudsters encouraging individuals to invest in stocks related to COVID-19.
  • Emails, phone calls, advertisements, and other malicious campaigns online.

How to Protect Yourself

In addition to providing awareness about some of the current online scams and frauds, Huronia Insurance Group would also like to provide you with these tips for protecting yourself against fraudsters and scammers.

Create Strong Login Passwords – Ensure your login passwords are strong enough. A strong password is longer than 9-12 characters, uses both upper and lower case letters, does not have sequential numbers or letters, and has a combination of words or letters that out of the norm. For example: UnicornFrenchFriesPimple4927

Create A Separate Password for Each Account – Do not use one password for multiple logins.

Protect Your SIN and Credit Card – Do not provide your credit card or social insurance information if you have any hesitation about a company’s legitimacy or if you receive a phone call from an unknown entity asking for personal information.

Install Standardized Software – Standardized software prevents unknown users from installing software on a system, unless it is approved.

Use Firewalls – Install firewalls on your computer and update your anti-viral software.

Private Networks – Use virtual private networks for online services.

Practically anyone can be targeted by unscrupulous behaviour, but there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and help prevent crimes like auto theft, identity theft, and online scams and fraud. It is important to be aware of the different types of scams and fraudulent activities that are occurring so that you do not jeopardize your personal information or safety.

If you are concerned that a scammer has learned your personal information, you are encouraged to contact a Huronia Insurance Broker today. We are here to help you and we want to minimize some of the stress you may be experiencing, especially during hard times such as these.

About Huronia Insurance

Located in Barrie Ontario, Huronia Insurance Group services the insurance needs of private individuals and businesses throughout the province. If you have any questions about online scams and frauds, please reach out to us.

We are also here for you if you need home, personal, auto or business insurance, or if you would like a no-obligation insurance quote. Contact one of our Huronia insurance brokers today at 1-866-955-8386.