I feel like I deserve a reward for getting through the COVID-19 pandemic.
I wore a mask, avoided crowds, got jabbed three times and spent five days recovering from a bout of Omicron, so I deserve some recognition.
Thus, it was no surprise that I was tempted to respond to a text on my phone yesterday (March 21) offering me a $100 "reward" for being vaccinated.
I thought, "It's about freakin' time."
It looked very official: “Provincial Health-Care* As a reward for the high level of vaccination, BC health service is rewarding you with $100,” reads the text.
SCAM ARTISTS ARE BUSY TRYING TO FOOL US
But then my scam spidey sense perked up and I realized the text was probably bogus.
(Oddly, I got that text the same day I received two texts from TD telling me I was having account trouble. But those texts looked weird as to stretch credulity that someone would click on it, plus I don't bank with them.)
However, this $100 vaccine reward text looked kind of official and it got me to wondering, "Could there be some money coming my way?"
In fact, I looked it up on Google search and found out that, sure enough, it was indeed a scam.
In fact, as recently as a couple of weeks ago (March 7), the B.C. Ministry of Health issued a warning the public to not click on text messages offering a $100 reward for being vaccinated.
The ministry said don't click on the link.
In an email to the Tri-City News' sister paper, the Burnaby Now, a ministry spokesperson confirmed the text is a scam.
“Individuals are advised to not click on the link and immediately delete the text if received," the spokesperson stated.
"We are aware of the COVID- and vaccine-themed scams happening in B.C. and we’re taking all reasonable steps to prevent fraudulent activity."
So even COVID-19, which has turned the world upside down for two years, is not off limits for nasty scammers.
NO BONUS CHEQUE COMING YOUR WAY
The ministry went on to warn people of other scams floating around ready to nab people with their tricks.
"Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and while government works hard to protect people’s information, all British Columbians should be just as careful and aware of cyber threats and protect their online information.
"It’s important to never respond to spam or phishing emails and never click on a link embedded within a suspicious email – links may be infected with malicious programs.”
So be warned: There is no $100 bonus cheque coming your way for getting vaccinated.
The reward, it turns out, is that vaccination against COVID-19 will keep you out of the hospital.
So being vaccinated is its own reward.
For more information about current scams, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- with a file from Chris Campbell, Burnaby Now