The City of Ottawa has issued a warning to residents as COVID-related scams have cropped up in the area.
In a release Thursday, the city noted that it had been told of unauthorized callers offering vaccination appointments.
The callers ask for personal information and pretend to arrange COVID-19 vaccination appointments or tests, the city said.
“Ottawa Public Health will not call you directly about a vaccine appointment, unless you have asked for a call back,” the release states.
Adult recipients of chronic home health care may received automated calls with recorded messages to advise the person is eligible to book a vaccine appointment.
As well, some physicians and community partners may call to encourage people to book an appointment.
In all cases, Ottawa Public Health stresses people only give information to these agencies:
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Earlier this week, Ontario Provincial Police in Lanark also reported a scam in the region in which a caller claimed to be from the local health unit, saying the victim had tested positive for the virus and asking for personal information such as birth date, health card and social insurance numbers.
While not aware of this specific scam, OPH urged public vigilance to anyone being asked for important personal information over the phone.
“Ottawa Public Health follows up with every individual who receives a positive lab test for COVID-19. These individuals would have sought out testing at a local testing centre or during a pop-up testing initiative prior to this phone call, and would be expecting a followup for a positive test,” the agency explained in an email.
“During the call from OPH, a case manager would ask for the individual’s name, date of birth and demographic information provided at the time of getting tested in order to confirm they are speaking to the right person about their personal health information.
“Public health would never ask for money (or) SIN numbers.”