New phishing scam targets federal government’s grocery rebate

New phishing scam targets federal government's grocery rebate
The phishing scam is shown.

When Jan Horne looked at her phone on Thursday morning, she noticed a text message supposedly from the CRA.

The message read: “INTERAC e-Transfer received: CANADA REVENUE AGENCY has sent you an INTERAC e-transfer,” before asking Horne to click on a link.

But she knew something was up.

“I know that Canada Revenue does not do e-transfers,” she said. “Having worked in Services Canada before, I know that doesn’t happen.”

What she didn’t fall for was a new phishing scheme masquerading behind the federal government’s new grocery rebate.

Phishing is where scammers pretend to be legitimate institutions through text or email in an attempt to gain access to personal information.

It’s something the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is well aware of, telling CHEK News in a statement that so far there have been 15 reported cases of the grocery rebate phishing text message. It adds that it is always very likely that once a government benefit is announced, unfortunately a phishing campaign follows.

It’s a campaign that Horne says vulnerable members of the population or those not educated on the internet could easily fall for.

“There are even older people and people that haven’t had much experience with the internet, maybe immigrants, people that are fairly new to the country, that are really unaware,” said Horne.

The CRA’s website also contains information on how to spot a potential scam, advising Canadians “do not reply to the email or text or click the link” and adding that “the CRA will not ask you by text message or email for personal information or bank information.”

The federal government started rolling out its grocery rebate payments yesterday to help offset rising food costs for lower income Canadians.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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