Toronto (March 27, 2020) – In an ongoing investigation, the Financial Crimes Unit of the Toronto police made a Covid-19 fraud arrest on March 26. The Toronto man, Jesse Wong, is accused of shipping multiple packages with prohibited Covid-19 test kits. One of these parcels was intercepted at the Canadian and U.S. border. The package contained 25 of these testing kits. Wong has been charged with Fraud Under $5,000 and Possession of Forgery Device. The police want to remind the public that there are no legitimate ‘home test kits’ available for the novel coronavirus.
The Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit arrested a suspect in an ongoing Covid-19 fraud investigation, according to a press release from March 27. Jesse Wong of Toronto was arrested for allegedly shipping and selling prohibited Covid-19 test kits across North America.
Parcel with prohibited Covid-19 test kits intercepted
On March 25, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Toronto, and the HSI National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPRCC) informed the Toronto police about an intercepted parcel containing 25 individual prohibited Covid-19 test kits at the Canadian and U.S. border. Thereafter, the investigation revealed that more parcels with the prohibited Covid-19 tests had been sent from a Toronto address across North America.
Subsequently, the Financial Crimes Unit executed a search in East York, Toronto and arrested the 43-year-old Wong on March 26.
Investigation leads to Covid-19 fraud arrest
The Toronto man has been charged with Fraud Under $5,000 and Possession of Forgery Device. Wong is scheduled to appear in court on May 28.
Reportedly, he was selling the test kits for $10 and face masks for $20. To date, it is unclear if the tests were legitimate or if they were bogus. The charges are based on the allegation that no kits are permitted for sale to the public in Canada, according to the police.
During this investigation, the Toronto police worked in partnership with HSI Toronto, HSI IPRCC, and Canada Post Security & Investigation Services.
There are no legitimate ‘home test kits’ available
Fraudsters try to capitalize on people’s fears, uncertainties, and misinformation about the novel coronavirus. There are currently multiple scams circulating in Canada. The Toronto police would like to remind the public to be vigilant when it comes to those trying to sell or provide products or services associated with Covid-19. Police say, there are no legitimate ‘home test kits’ available.
Read more: Don’t fall for COVID-19 frauds
Anyone who believes they have been approached or contacted by someone who is misrepresenting themselves to sell goods or services should report the incident to the police.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.