- A Montreal woman is sharing the story of her family's encounter with an alleged fraudster offering at-home COVID-19 testing.
- The SPVM is investigating the incident.
A woman living in Pierrefonds-Roxboro has come forward to share the story of an allegedly fake nurse that approached her family at their home to offer COVID-19 testing. The previously-public post received hundreds of comments, not all kind, causing Loralee Rubino to make the post private. You can see a screengrab of the post, shared with her permission, below.
In the post, Rubino explains that a white woman with blonde hair and a white coat drove up to her house in a large white van. She came up to the front door with a clipboard and asked if anyone in the home would be interested in receiving testing for the novel coronavirus.
Rubino's husband quickly told the woman to leave and also made mention that he intended to call the police, which apparently resulted in the woman "bolting for the car."
The type of van she was driving can be seen below, a common rental vehicle. Rubino also notes the woman was wearing a white toque.
Rubino and her family live between the Roxboro and Saint-Laurent area and are hoping that their story will protect anyone else who may be targetted by this scam.
It is unclear what motive lies behind this scam, although Rubino alleges that there has been talk of people "going to houses and once inside they do a home invasion."
We reached out to the SPVM, who Rubino says took her statement seriously. They informed us that there is, in fact, an ongoing investigation into the matter and for this reason no further information can be divulged at this time.
Currently, in Quebec, no at-home testing is being offered for COVID-19.
There is, however, drive-through testing, which limits the "risk of incidental infection and [preserves] hospital resources for the most ill patients," Dr. Assaad Sayah of the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts explains.
These drive-through clinics started on Wednesday, with one in Quebec City and another in the Chaudière-Appalaches region.
To visit a drive-thru, you still must call the COVID-19 line (1-877-644-4545) to confirm your symptoms. If confirmed, you will be prompted to schedule an appointment.
We reached out to Montreal Public Health to better understand how Montrealers can protect themselves from these kinds of scams.
We were told that "there are numerous situations like these around the province," and will update this space with more information from Montreal Public Health when it arrives.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) does warn of scams that have been reported in other countries, however, including fraudsters posing as health or security officials.
More information on potential COVID-19-related scams and what to look out for is available here.