Hello from your Hamilton Crime Stoppers.

As we navigate COVID-19 we continue to take your tips, pay out tipsters and care for our Community.

To make these times more challenging, SCAMMERS, playing on people’s fears using the COVID-19 as a backdrop, are increasing their efforts to steal information or money using what is referred to as “phishing” scams.
These fraudulent scammer attempts may come in the way of text messages, phone calls or emails about a Government deposit, processed Employment Insurance claims, impersonating local Public Health or the World Health Organization.

The “phishing” scam may even be someone attempting to sell counterfeit products or cures, disguising themselves as pharmacies or medical facilities. They may claim to be providing official information on coronavirus and pretending to be travel agents or telecommunications companies – but are actually attempts to obtain personal data or money.

None of these are legitimate.

So, what can we do to try and stay safe from scams;

• Think before you click or download an attachment. If you are unsure of the source don’t click or download
• DO NOT respond to texts, phone calls or emails requesting sensitive information or money
• Use well known websites such as W.H.O (World Health Organization) or Government of Canada website to stay up to date
• Sometimes hovering over a sender’s email address will help verify whether it is legitimate.
• Always remember that legitimate organizations won’t ask us to update account information or send personal data via email

The important message to take away is that the fraudsters are taking advantage of this very serious health crisis, attempting to prey on peoples fear. Don’t let them do it!
If you receive a phone call, text message or email along these lines, hang up, do not reply, do not click or open any files contained in the messages and delete.

Hamilton, we care about you, you are our Community. Continue doing the right things and follow the health expert’s advice.
Proper hand washing, stay home as much as possible and follow social distancing when out.
Together lets continue keeping our Community Stronger and Safer.