Prime Minister Trudeau warned Canadians today to be cautious of a TEXT SCAM that has been circulating, aimed at exploiting those who are trying to apply for the new Emergency Aid Benefit. At a news conference at his residence at Rideau Cottage this morning March 26th, the Prime Minister said some people are preying on the vulnerable during the pandemic, “I’m sorry to say, there appears to be a text scam going around on the new emergency response benefit. I want to remind everyone that the government’s website is the best place to find reliable information on everything we’re doing.” One example of the scam text message reads ‘Alert: The emergency response benefit of Canada relief fund has sent you a deposit’, then asks you to click on a link to claim the money – but it is NOT from the federal government.
The application portal for the emergency benefit will launch in early April and Canadians can expect to receive the money within 14 days of applying. The benefits will provide $2,000 a month for four months to those who are eligible – and the demand is expected to be substantial. Due to all the business closures since measures have been implemented because of the pandemic, in just the last week alone almost 1 million people had filed claims for Employment Insurance. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, said ‘Canadians can be assured the system has the capacity to handle the barrage of applications’ The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) will manage the portal and she said it will have a ‘massive capacity to administer bulk applications in a way that is secure and streamlined’. As of Thursday morning March 26th, there were 3,409 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country.