Covid-19 text scam targets cross-border truck drivers

There’s no need for healthy border-crossing truck drivers to quarantine themselves for 14 days after returning to Canada – despite what any text messages might suggest.

Canada Border Services Agency is warning about a fake text message that appears to be coming from the Government of Canada and demanding the self-quarantine measures. It also tells recipients to contact public health officials if they experience Covid-19 symptoms, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) adds.

The text also includes a link to a fake website, in the form of a short address.

 (Photo: iStock)

Truck drivers are exempt from such self-quarantine measures because they’re classified as essential workers.

“The agency confirms it is not a valid form of government communication and is working on messaging to travelers to address the issue,” CTA says in a message to members.

It isn’t the only example of frauds associated with Covid-19.

This fraudulent message suggests truck drivers are required to self-quarantine.
This fraudulent message suggests truck drivers are required to self-quarantine.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says it’s important to be aware of questionable third-party companies that offer to help fill out CERB applications, criminals stealing identities to sign up for CERB, spoofed government and healthcare information, and unsolicited calls and messages requesting urgent action or payment or offering medical advice.

Reported scams have included fraudsters who pose as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Association, government departments, Red Cross and other known charities, and more.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission suggested several security measures earlier this year, helping to protect against other Covid-19-related text scams.

It recommends protecting online accounts by using multi-factor authentication, which requires two or more credentials to log into an account; enabling auto updates on operating systems; and regularly backing up data on devices so there’s no worry about losing valuable information if exposed to malware or ransomware.