Truckers in Canada are being warned of fake text messages that incorrectly instruct them to self-isolate and direct them to a suspicious website.
The text messages claim to come from the Canadian government and state, “All travelers must self-isolate for 14 days by law.” Truck drivers returning to Canada from the United States are exempt from the Canadian self-isolation requirement.
The messages also include a bit.ly link that claims to offer “credible information” about COVID-19. Instead, it appears to direct users to a website based in Spain that has no affiliation with the Canadian government and contains no medical advice.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) alerted its members about the texts on Wednesday, citing an alert from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). An agency spokesperson could not confirm the warning to FreightWaves on Wednesday.
The CTA advised truckers not to open the link if they receive the message.
An unknown number of truck drivers have reported receiving the text, according to the CTA. While the messages do not appear to target truckers specifically, truck drivers currently account for the vast majority of people who regularly cross the U.S.-Canada border. The land border has been closed to nonessential travel since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full message states: “This is a message from the Government of Canada. All Travelers returning to Canada must self isolate for 14 days by law. Once you arrive at your final destination, travel directly home — do not make stops. If you’re experiencing sore throat, cough, or fever, report to a CBSA officer or contact public health officials.”
It was unclear if the messages specifically targeted people at the U.S.-Canada border.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a wave of scams attempting to trick users into providing personal information through text messages, emails and phone calls.
Recipients of suspicious messages can report them to the Canadian government’s Spam Reporting Centre.