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Montreal police are warning the public about COVID-19-related scams
MONTREAL -- Montreal police are warning the public about COVID-19 related fraud, saying that scammers are trying to take advantage of the pandemic and the measures put in place to try and quell it.
The Service de police de la Ville de Montreal is asking Montrealers to be vigilant, particularly of people trying to raise funds for purported charities or posing as employees of cleaning companies, public-health officials, the Red Cross, the World Health Organization or various government agencies.
Fraudsters also tend to "profit off of rumours, fears and uncertainty among the population with the sole goal of committing scams or cybercrimes," the SPVM said in a statement.
The tools they tend to use to accomplish that are text messages, phone calls, emails or door-to-door visits, police warn.
In order to avoid being scammed, police are urging people to be extra wary of false or misleading claims, expensive products of poor quality or miracle cures.
They suggest never clicking on a link from an email that appears too good to be true, but rather visit the website of the company behind the offer and research them as much as possible.
They are also reminding the public that official organizations - government agencies in, particular - do not make unsolicited calls, emails or texts asking for private information.
The SPVM says people over the age of 70, who have been ordered to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Quebec government, are particular targets of scammers and should be especially wary of potential fraud during this period.
The SPVM is asking people who suspect fraud to call their local police station by dialling 514-280-01XX (with XX representing the number of their local police station). If a situation is urgent, they are asking that people call 911.