Alberta RCMP officers are warning people about some potential scams using the COVID-19 outbreak as a ruse. Mounties say they’ve seen a spike in reports of both fraudulent merchandise sales and emails that attempt to get sensitive information out of residents.

The police say the fraudulent merchandise sales frequently involve the sale or giveaway of health-related products such as facemasks and COVID-19 tests. There are also “free” products being advertised where the victim must pay a fake shipping fee. Meanwhile, the emails are said to come from people claiming to be the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health, Public Health Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency and asking for personal banking information.

Mounties say some tips to remember if you are contacted include:

· Never give out personal or financial details if you didn’t initiate the call.

· If you didn’t initiate the contact, you don’t know who you’re talking to.

· Don’t click on suspicious links or attachments.

· Install anti-virus software.

· Be skeptical of emails even if they look legitimate.

· Check the “from” address by hovering over the name.

· Check the Canadian Anti-Fraud website for a list of reported scams.

Anyone who suspects they have been fraudulently contacted can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.