Fraud and Misinformation

The Canadian Red Cross is advising people to be aware of the following fraudulent activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Phone calls

  • Border Vaccines
  • Fraudulent phone calls requesting funds to support border vaccines have been reported. Call spoofing has been used, so the call appears to come from the CRC Ottawa Office phone number (1-613-740-1900). These are not valid fundraising calls, and the Red Cross is not taking donations for border vaccines. Hang up, and do not provide your banking information.

Text Messages

  • Text for Health Support Response
  • A fraudulent request to register for Health Support Response (RED CROSS) has been circulating by text. The sender claims that you have been pre-approved for support and asks people to complete registration by clicking on a link. This is not valid and the Red Cross advises anyone who receives this message to delete it immediately. Do not click on the link or respond.
  • Free face masks
  • A fraudulent offer for face masks is circulating by text, email and on social media.  The sender claims to be the Red Cross and is offering to give away or sell face masks if the shipping fee is paid. This is not a valid offer and the Red Cross advises anyone who receives this message to delete it immediately. Do not click on the link or respond.  
Mask exemption cards 

The Canadian Red Cross is not involved in the issuing of any medical mask exemption cards in Canada. We’re aware that the Red Cross emblem is being used on a mask exemption card. This is a misuse of the Red Cross emblem.

Please by advised, as of Tuesday, August 4, the Canadian Red Cross began the gradual resumption of door-to-door canvassing. The door to door campaign has resumed in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia/ Yukon, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Québec, and all of Atlantic Canada.
All canvassers will be supplied with and wearing personal protective equipment and will adhere to government health regulations regarding COVID-19. 
How to identify a Canadian Red Cross canvasser:
  • Prominently displayed Canadian Red Cross ID
  • Canvassers will provide their name and contact information
  • Vest, coat or a golf shirt identified with a Canadian Red Cross logo
  • May use electronic tablets and ask for banking information or a credit card number to set up automatic monthly donations – cash will not be asked for or accepted.
Personal information
Individuals eligible for financial assistance, will NOT need to provide their banking information to receive funds. The Canadian Red Cross will not ask for these details in order to distribute assistance. In addition, the Red Cross will not ask for credit card information or other forms of payment in order to receive assistance.
The Red Cross encourages people to stay informed from credible sources, such as the Government of Canada’s website for fraud prevention tips, as well as for the most current information on COVID-19.
If you suspect you have been a victim of fraudulent activity, please contact your local police authority.

Go to the source
Misinformation can be incredibly dangerous during any epidemic or emergency. Be sure that you are getting information from trusted sources such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization.
Do not rely on social media as a credible source for information. The Red Cross encourages people to stay informed and always go directly to the source being identified for credible information.

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