Three federal ministers and numerous Members of Parliament have been targeted by a Facebook impersonation scam that offers government grants to people.
The impersonators took images from the politicians’ Facebook pages and then created a new Messenger account that wasn’t linked to an account, as reported by CBC News.
Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan, Families, Children and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett have all been targeted by the scam.
The scams seem to be happening to MPs of all stripes.
It’s unclear how many MPs have been affected in total, however, a Conservative Party spokesperson confirmed to CBC News that the office knows of around a dozen MPs who were impacted.
The NDP said it is not aware of any MPs affected as of yet.
The impersonators used the fake accounts to talk to constituents and offered them a federal financial grant. Some people replied and asked to make deposits so they could secure the grant, as reported by CBC News. Although the impersonators didn’t ask for the financial information directly, it is likely that was the next step.
“It is important that not only Members of Parliament, but all citizens, remain vigilant and have an understanding of common online deceptive tactics like phishing or trolling,” a spokesperson for Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould told CBC News.
This isn’t the first time that a minister has been the target of an impersonation scam on Facebook. Earlier this year, A fake Facebook profile of Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen defrauded refugees out of thousands of dollars. The impersonator told refugees in Turkey that he would help them get permanent residency in Canada if they sent him $3,550 CAD.
Further, Gould told MobileSyrup earlier this year that she believes that the existing regulations ahead of the election are good enough to protect Canadians from influence.
As reported earlier this year, Facebook also has that said it will take part in Canada’s C-76 election rules and has also decided to create a political ad registry.
Source: CBC News