Beware of textual scams on emergency response benefits, says Trudeau

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau advises Canadians that scammers are sending text messages allegedly from the federal government offering money to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
“I’m sorry to say there seems to be a text scam on the new emergency response benefit,” said Trudeau at his daily press conference outside his Ottawa residence on Thursday.

“I want to remind everyone that the government website is the best place to find reliable information on everything we do. ”

CP24 journalist Cristina Tenaglia shared a screenshot on social media of a text scam telling Canadians to click on a link to receive a direct deposit of $ 1,375.50.

the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, a key part of the federal government $ 107 billion in aid to help Canadians weather the storm COVID-19, will provide $ 2,000 per month in direct assistance from the Canada Revenue Agency, for up to four months, to workers whose income has dropped to zero due to the pandemic.

The government has said that the online portal to request the benefit should be operational in early April and that payments should start two weeks later.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the move will allow struggling businesses to temporarily lay off workers knowing they will still have money in their pockets.

“Wwe are making sure that people can get through this very difficult time, “said Morneau at a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday. “So they have the resources they need for themselves and their families.”

Morneau took Twitter Thursday to clarify that the government is not texting this benefit.

“If you have received an SMS about the benefit, don’t click on the link,” he said.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also warned at a press conference earlier this week that fraudsters were trying to use the new coronavirus crisis to obtain credit card information from Albertans, both online and over the phone.

Kenney said people have received calls from conspirators claiming to be from Alberta Health Services, telling them they have the virus and urging them to hand over their credit card details.

“For those trying to exploit the elderly and others in this time of public health emergency, there must be a special place in hell for people like this. Stop it, ”said Kenney. “It is completely anti-Canadian. He’s not from Alberta. It is unacceptable. “

Last week, the federal government sent text messages with consular support information to Canadians stranded abroad during the pandemic, with the cooperation of the country’s major telecommunications service providers, urging them to register with the government so that they can be informed of any efforts to repatriation.

With files from The Canadian Press

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