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Kingston Police warn of scammers exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic

Photo by Paul Hanaoka.

Kingston Police have become aware that scammers are preying on the public’s fear and sending various scam-based emails related to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, according to a release dated Thursday, Jul. 22, 2021.

Below are some examples of the types of scam police said individuals should be on the lookout for:

  • Emails that appear to be from organizations such as the WHO (World Health Organization). The scammers have crafted emails that appear to come from these sources, but they actually contain malicious phishing links or dangerous attachments.
  • Emails that ask for charity donations for studies, doctors, or victims that have been affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Scammers often create fake charity emails after global phenomenons occur, like natural disasters, or health scares like COVID-19.
  • Emails that claim to have a “new” or “updated” list of cases of Coronavirus in your area. These emails could contain dangerous links and information designed to scare you into clicking on the link.

Keep in mind, these are only a few examples and the scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to try to fool you, police said.

Police suggest the public remain cautious and always remember the following to protect yourself from scams like this:

  • Never click on links or download attachments from an email that you weren’t expecting.
  • If you receive a suspicious email that appears to come from an official organization such as the WHO, report the email to the official organization through their website.
  • If you want to make a charity donation, go to the charity website of your choice to submit your payment. Type the charity’s web address in your browser instead of clicking on any links in emails, or other messages.
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