Fake Texts Offering Quebec's $500 Payment Are Going Around & The Gov't Put Out A Warning

Fraudsters are using a "phishing" scam on many Quebecers.

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Quebec government building. Right: Fake text about $500 assistance payment.

Quebec government building. Right: Fake text about $500 assistance payment.

On March 22, it was announced that the Quebec government would be sending $ 500 to every adult making $100,000 a year or less following the filing of their 2021 income tax. This is a tool being implemented in hopes of helping Quebecers with the current rise of inflation, however, it's not running as smoothly as anticipated.

The Quebec government is now warning the public to be cautious about potential fraudulent text messages circulating across the province regarding the one-time $500 assistance payments.

According to a press release issued by Quebec, "fraudsters have used the context of the government assistance promised at the 2022-2023 budget unveiling to send a fraudulent text message to several Quebecers, urging them to click on an Internet link to obtain more information."

The government stated that these types of text messages are a "decoy" and a form of "phishing" — a technique many fraudsters use in order to gain personal information, including banking details.

"This information can be used by fraudsters to receive financial services or products in the person's name, conduct financial or mortgage transactions, receive government benefits, etc. This is identity theft," the government said.

Quebec is urging the public to be extra vigilant in order to counter these text message scams.

In order to avoid the text decoy, it's worth noting that the one-time $500 payment will be paid out directly by Revenu Québec after you file your 2021 taxes and receive your notice of assessment.

For those who have already filed their taxes and received a notice of assessment, payments should be made by the end of May, Revenue Québec said.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Mike Chaar
Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Mike Chaar is a writer by day and reality TV binge-watcher by night. When he’s not cracking down on recalls, celeb news and discovering the best of the best foodie spots across Montreal, he can be found indulging in his love for new cuisines, reading and music, with Mariah Carey being his ultimate diva.
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