The RCMP have shared that there is an issue of potential fraud around the provision of the COVID-19 vaccines. In February 2021, the Federal Policing Joint Intelligent Group created a bulletin to caution potential victims. Please be aware of these matters and take note of info about how reports can be submitted, aside from regular police reporting.
SITUATION: The RCMP is aware that government officials have received unsolicited offers of COVID-19 vaccine for sale. These offers, which are directed at federal, provincial, and territorial governments, are deemed to be suspicious and should be reported to the RCMP for further investigation. The emails may actually be attempted frauds, offers to sell stolen vaccine, or efforts by malicious actors to test or breach security.
These offers may be convincing and appear to come from individuals or companies, claiming to have large quantities of doses available and that the offer is a time-sensitive/limited offer – to provoke a sense of urgency. The offers may be for COVID-19 vaccines that are already or are not yet approved for use in Canada.
BACKGROUND: On behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and based on advice from the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) was the lead department who negotiated and finalized all of the advance purchase agreements with seven suppliers of COVID-19 vaccine candidates (AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Medicago, Novavax, and Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline).
These negotiations and agreements are taking place through already-established procurement channels. All vaccine candidates will require Health Canada authorization prior to being imported or used to vaccinate anyone in Canada. For further information, see: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-services-procurement/services/procuring-vaccines-covid19.html
ACTION TO TAKE: Should you receive any of these fraudulent offers of COVID-19 vaccine for sale or similar suspicious emails:
- Do NOT respond to the email/message;
- Do NOT click on links or open attachments;
- Inform your Departmental Security program;
- Engage with Health Canada’s Health Product Compliance Directorate by providing information online at: https://health.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/compliance-enforcement/problem-reporting/health-product-complaint-form-0317.html
- Your DSO/CSO should report the incident to the RCMP National Critical Infrastructure Team via [email protected]
For Police of Jurisdiction (POJ), please advise the RCMP National Operations Centre (NOC) through existing channels.
This bulletin was prepared in consultation with RCMP National Critical Infrastructure Team, RCMP Federal Policing Criminal Operations, RCMP National Division, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.