The Toronto Police Service issued a public safety alert Tuesday morning advising residents to be hyper-aware of several different scams currently circulating in the city.
“Over the past few weeks, Toronto Police Service investigators have noted an increase in online scams associated with COVID-19,” said the release.
Police say residents have reported scams asking for bank information to process government or Canada Revenue Agency emergency payments, fines for leaving the house too many times a day, and immediate payment requests with threats of canceled services (ie streaming sites).
Email scams are also on the rise, and police say many of them contain fraudulent or corrupted links on subjects such as “delivery details” for those who are most likely to use the services. of delivery and “special offers” for products / services related to COVID-19. .
Police are also warning residents of websites claiming to sell COVID-19-related products and services – such as test kits, cleaning supplies, or remedies – as well as information from> requesting information and / or links to other sites.
“Investigators have also heard of various phone or door-to-door scams, including offers to buy and deliver groceries – which often include a request for credit card information; as well as sales of products and services related to COVID-19, “the release notes.”
As a result, police warn residents not to click on random links, to provide personal information (including banking information), to install unknown applications (even if asked to do so by email / text / etc.) or use links sent by email / text to access online accounts.
Police also said residents should use two-factor authentication for online payments, set strong passwords for new or existing online accounts, save their work regularly, work offline (if possible) and use software to protect against malware and viruses.