From vaccines to puppies: Don’t fall for these pandemic scams


One of the most current financial scams that target seniors involves a caller asking people for their financial information to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Financial investment expert Kelley Keehn says fraudsters are often looking for something new they can hone in on when it comes to scams.

She says in this vaccine scam in particular, people are being asked for their credit card information and other forms of payment.

“It’s so important that you call your parents, you call the elders in your life, and let them know that … you are not having to pay for your vaccine.”

Read more: Guelph police issue warning about fraudulent job offers

Additionally, over the course of the pandemic several Canadians seeking puppies have encountered scams through their search.

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The high demand led to fraudsters taking advantage and advertising down payments of $1,000 or 2,000 for an upcoming litter, Keehn says. 

Read more: What happens when a fraudster steals your phone number and dupes a cellphone provider?

Amid the pandemic, fraudsters have also implemented job scams targeting the numerous Canadians continuing to look for work. 

According to Keehn, some scammers are using backgrounds on Zoom apps during interviews to look legitimate and have also sent people fake cheques.

“You’re on the hook for the whole amount because you cashed the cheque. So be really, really cautious. Even if it looks legit, try to take those extra steps to make sure that it is,” she says. 

Read more: Scammers target online job seekers during COVID-19 pandemic

When it comes to fraud, Keehn advises people to not be fearful of asking questions, like asking someone on a call to send you information in writing, and to Google suspicious phone numbers. 

Additionally, she says one of the big don’ts is acting impulsively and says not to feel intimidated by high-pressure tactics. 

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“Even if you’re called saying they’ve got a little bit of your information, that’s how they use it. They use social media and all of that to just get a little bit to get you to give the rest so when in doubt, hang up, call your institution yourself.”

Other ways for people to protect themselves, Keehn adds, can include changing passwords, setting up two-factor authentication, securing personal devices when you’re out and ensuring your webcam is covered when you’re not using it.

Watch Keehn’s full interview with ‘The Morning Show’ in the video above.

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