Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on March 26, 2020.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is warning Canadians that scammers are sending text messages purporting to be from the federal government offering cash to address the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’m sorry to say there appears to be a text scam going around on the new Emergency Response Benefit,” Trudeau said, at his daily press conference outside his Ottawa residence Thursday.

“I want to remind everyone that the government’s website is the best place to find reliable information on everything that we’re doing.”

CP24 journalist Cristina Tenaglia shared a screenshot on social media of a text scam telling Canadians to click a link to receive a direct deposit of $1,375.50.

COVID text scam: Watch out for messages like this: pic.twitter.com/Ci7ymEpRdR

— Cristina Tenaglia (@cristina_CP24) March 26, 2020

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit, a key element in the federal government’s $107-billion aid package to help Canadians weather the COVID-19 storm, will provide $2,000 a month in direct assistance from the Canada Revenue Agency, for a maximum of four months, for workers whose income has dropped to zero because of the pandemic.

The government has said the online portal to apply for the benefit is expected to be up and running by early April with payments to start flowing two weeks later.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said the measure will allow struggling companies to temporarily lay off workers with the knowledge that they will still have money in their pockets.

“What we’re doing is ensuring that we enable people to bridge through this very difficult time,” Morneau told a press conference in Ottawa Wednesday. “So they have the resources they need for themselves and their families.”

Morneau took to Twitter Thursday to make clear that the government is not sending out text messages on the benefit.

“If you have received …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Music

      

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