Scammers aiming to sucker Northerners with fake $750 COVID-19 benefit

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Don’t fall for text messages offering government relief, say finance officials.

If you’ve received a text message offering you a $750 COVID-19 benefit, don’t click the link — it’s a scam.

The N.W.T.’s department of finance issued a public warning Friday about the messages, which purport to offer “a COVID-19 response benefit from GNWT Economic Relief.”

Residents who receive the message should report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

The territory is asking residents to avoid sharing any personal information or clicking on any link in the message. It says the territorial government does not ask residents to give login or account details through text, and won’t ask people to click on links in texts.

It is also warning residents not to respond to the message or call any number provided.

The scam is one of a number of COVID-19 frauds circulating in Canada, according to the anti-fraud centre, many of which are being sent through email or text message.

Goals of the various frauds range from duping people into providing personal or financial information, which can then be used for identity theft, to extortion with malware.

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