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Alberta government warns of scammers trying to cash in on $600 inflation relief payments


Scammers targeted Albertans within hours of a provincial inflation relief program going live on Wednesday. 

Certain families, seniors and residents on income support are eligible for $600 over six months under the program. Those eligible could apply through an online portal starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

But several viewers contacted CTV News reporting they received a suspicious text message on or before Wednesday. 

Earlier in the week, one Albertan, whose name CTV News agreed not to use, received what looked like a text message notification from My Alberta to register for the automatic bank deposits. It contained a link to a website that looked like the government's information page about the program and required human verification. 

But when the site requested his banking information, it occurred to him that the URL "" was strange and he left the site. 

CTV News Calgary's Stephanie Thomas received the same message. 

The affordability and utilities ministry confirmed it was not contacting residents by text.

"Alberta's not going to text you or call you and request your personal or banking information. So please just go to or any registry to access these benefits. Don't go anywhere else," minister Matt Jones said.

"We hope [the program] alleviates some of the inflationary pressures that Albertans are feeling over the next six months."

Jones said about 77,000 applications had been received as of 3 p.m., despite about an hour when the webpage had some technical issues and moved slow for some. 

This is not the first time a provincial program has been used as a scam front. 

In June, scammers tried to capitalize on utility rebates being offered by the provincial government.

In 2021, scammers tried to sell COVID-19 vaccine appointments

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nicole Lampa Top Stories

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