The Corona virus crisis seems to have emboldened the already numerous fraudsters out there to prey on even more victims while many among us are feeling stressed and may have our normal defence mechanisms somewhat on hold.

These con artists are using “COVID-19” and “Corona virus” to trick you into believing they are there to help or provide a valuable service. Don’t let these words and related terms such as “pandemic” and “the crisis” lull you into a false sense of security. Be extra vigilant when receiving unsolicited emails or phone calls using any of these terms. These fraudsters have only one goal – to obtain your personal and financial information, and your passwords, so they can steal from you.

Here’s an example. This week I received an email, seemingly from RBC, a reputable Canadian bank, stating it contained “important Coronavirus advice”. But there were three telltale signs the email was not legitimate. First, it was sent to an email address I don’t use for banking purposes. Second, the English language was weak, pretending to be from “RBC Costumer Management”. RBC certainly has customer service, but they don’t deal in costumes or costumer management, whatever that might be. Third, when hovering my cursor over the return address, it could be seen that the sender was not from RBC. So, I deleted the email.

Your best policy is to delete unsolicited emails from banks, telephone providers, etc., and don’t click on any links therein or open attachments. Instead, sign in directly to the online accounts where you transact your banking and other affairs. There you will see first-hand any legitimate notifications meant for you. Don’t share your passwords with anyone.

And if you receive a telephone call from a stranger who starts yacking on about the virus, hang up. You don’t owe politeness to fraudsters.

We all want to take care of our physical health during this crisis. Keep watch over your financial health too.

We at Fogarty Law Firm want you to know we are there for you in these difficult times. If you would like to consider immigrating to Canada, or are already here but unsure of your situation and might like some help, you may reach out to us here.

Photo: Impression of the RBC main building, Place Ville Marie, Montreal © Stephen J Fogarty 2020