Tories call for measures to combat COVID-19 scams

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner

The federal Conservative Party wants the hammer brought down on scam artists taking advantage of Canadians’ fears of COVID-19.

Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Conservative Shadow Minister for Industry and Economic Development, issued a statement on March 24 condemning scammers who exploit people’s fears to extract money or information  from them by email, text and phone calls.

“There have been many reports of scammers and fraudsters taking advantage of Canadians in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rempel Garner. “This is absolutely despicable. Exploiting people’s fears at a time of crisis is abhorrent and the Canadian government must take immediate measures to deal with this right away.”

Rempel Garner called on the federal government to take quick action.

“The Trudeau government has known that this is a problem for several years,” she said. “That is why the issue of fraudulent calls was very recently studied by our Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

“At these meetings it was revealed that the only solution put forward by the government, STIR/SHAKEN, will be ineffective on its own to fully address the problem. Greater enforcement is clearly needed.”

She said at a time where many Canadians are struggling to make ends meet and concerned with this pandemic, they should not have to also worry about being targeted by scammers.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians had already been dealing with numerous fraud call schemes.

“With these new fraud calls, texts and emails in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government’s response is lacking,” she said. “Further action needs to happen right away to protect Canadians.

“I call on the Liberal government to increase enforcement and prosecution on these fraudsters immediately. I also expect that the Minister will provide parliamentarians with a comprehensive plan to combat these scams.”

She said concrete action needs to be taken to protect Canadians from fraudulent calls, texts and emails seeking to take advantage of Canadians in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. She pledged that her party will continue to stand-up for Canadians in the midst of this pandemic.