Ottawa

OPP warn of CERB scam

Ontario Provincial Police in Renfrew County are warning the public to be on the lookout for a potential scam involving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Callers offer help applying for federal emergency wage subsidy, then demand payment

OPP are warning of a potential scam involving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

Ontario Provincial Police in Renfrew County are warning the public to be on the lookout for a potential scam involving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

OPP say the scammers posing as officials from a government agency are contacting people to ask if they need assistance applying for the CERB, the federal benefit supporting workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

"They're asking you initially if you need assistance in completing your CERB application. And then once you've engaged with this scam, they then send you an invoice and tell you that you owe them money for assisting you with your application," said Const. Catherine Yarmel with the Killaloe OPP.

Yarmel said OPP don't know how many people in the region have fallen victim to the scam, but said it has been circulating throughout Ontario.

Yarmel advises people to always check whether a company is registered with the Better Business Bureau, and to check online reviews of companies before paying for a service.

Another scams involving PPE 

OPP are also warning about so called "non-delivery" scams, where people pay for products online but never receive them.

Yarmel said there are currently non-delivery scams involving items that have been hard to come by during the pandemic, including personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers, gloves and face shields. 

"Be very cautious of pricing that is well below market value for anything that you're purchasing online. Those types of things really cause concern, and could be red flags that it's a scam," said Yarmel.

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