Text scam targets victims claiming Canadian Emergency Response Benefit Plan

Canadians should be on alert for a new scam related to the recently-announced government benefit for job losses due to COVID-19. (Getty)

Fraudsters are using the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit as a ploy to solicit funds from unsuspecting Canadians in a new text scam. 

During his daily address on Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned of a scam that’s been circulated over text message in the past few days. It capitalizes on the $107 billion plan the government is putting forth in an attempt to assist Canadians who are out of work or unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The message reads: Alert: The emergency response benefit of Canada relief fund has sent you a deposit for, and then lists an amount. The message is accompanied by a link the receiver is told to click on in order to access their money. The link ends with a .xyz, and states that some data rates may apply.

The Prime Minister stressed that these text messages were not from the government.

“I'm sorry to say there appears to be a text scam going around on the new emergency response benefit,” he said. “I want to remind everyone that the government's website is the best place to find reliable information on everything we're doing,” 

Finance Canada urged anyone who receives the text not to reply or click on the link. It recommends deleting the text and letting others know about it.