CERB Reimbursement: Seemingly Fraudulent Yet Legitimate Claims | Coronavirus

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Reimbursement of CERB: Fraudulent-looking, yet legitimate claims | Coronavirus

Emails sent by Service Canada claiming reimbursement of sums related to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) have been likened to attempted fraud by some recipients. But it is not, replies Service Canada.

Service Canada specifies that these emails are not hoaxes and that the persons concerned will have to reimburse the sums demanded.

By opening emails from Service Canada claiming reimbursement of benefits paid during the pandemic, recipients thought they observed certain irregularities.

A strange logo, gray font, instead of the black usually used in official government correspondence. Some emails first written in French, then in English.

You were paid more benefits than you were entitled to, claimed one of the correspondence seen by CBC.

There was a link and a 1 800 number.

Some have dismissed these emails out of hand, convinced that they were dealing with yet another scam attempt by fraudsters posing as a government agency.

Others went online to tell how they tried to get answers from Service Canada. One claimed an agent hung up on him when he called to ask a question.

On Twitter and Reddit, some said the formatting was very different from government correspondence they had received in the past. For one, the government logo looked awful, as if made with a basic application like Microsoft Paint.

Others found it suspicious that they were contacted by email, rather than secure message.

More than 100 people reported these emails to the agency national fraud watchdog. But Service Canada confirms that these emails are not a hoax and that the people who receive them really have to pay.

The site of the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The agency uses the e-mail address [email protected] to contact people about employment insurance and unemployment benefits. #x27;emergency. She has sent 26.2 million emails from this address since March 2020, including CERB emails.

The government had launched this $2,000 per month relief package to provide support to workers laid off or whose working hours had been drastically reduced due to lockdown measures.

It is unclear how many variations of the reimbursement letter were sent.

Some emails seen by CBC claim reimbursement of part of the benefit, without specifying the amount.

Recipients are encouraged to call a 1-800 number or click on a link to provide information that may change our decision and impact the amount you owe within 30 days. The email then states that they will be mailed a letter detailing their debt and how to pay it off.

According to Service Canada, 1.7 million Canadians have been or will be contacted because they have received the full amount of the CERB, an amount for which they were ultimately found to be ineligible.

Government of Canada checks received under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

The agency invites those concerned to call 1 800 622-6232 to validate the integrity of these emails.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center says it has received 166 reports of such emails since March 2020, which a spokesperson attributed to the large number of scams in circulation, and [the fact that] in some cases it is unclear whether the email is legitimate or not.

Canadians should be extra vigilant of any email requesting payment, expert says, given the number of sophisticated scams in Canada, including in relation to requests for payment. of CERB reimbursements and to Service Canada.

I think individuals, given how easily they can be victimized and all the steps they have to cross [if their accounts are compromised], are sometimes too cautious, said Ritesh Kotak, a cybersecurity expert in Toronto.

Anyone can spoof an email [address]. It seems to come from a specific person, but it's not. And it's relatively simple to do. Hackers and fraudsters know this all too well.

Mr. Kotak says Service Canada should reconsider whether email is the best way to contact people about refunds, when they could send secure messages or letters through the mail instead.

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It is clear that there are ways for the government to communicate securely, and it should take advantage of them.

A Service Canada spokesperson mentioned that the content and form of its emails are based on the advice of privacy, legal and communication experts, and that they comply with government policies. The emails where French appears before English come from its Quebec offices, the agency said.

When asked if the agency would consider #x27;making changes to avoid confusion, a spokesperson issued the following statement: We continually review customer feedback on all of our communications, and that feedback guides how we share information with customers.

Canadians must pay off their first CERB check

Based on a text by Laura McQuillan of CBC.

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