Text message scam claims to be Alberta government affordability payments

The Alberta government is warning people about a text scam where messages claiming to be from the province invite Albertans to register for affordability payments.

One scam asks people to click on a link to register for automatic bank payments.

The government says it will never text or make unsolicited calls to ask for personal information.

“Users should never click on links or provide personal or banking information to text messages or emails,” said Nate Glubish, minister of Technology and Innovation, in a news release.

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An online portal opened Wednesday morning for eligible parents and seniors to apply for the support.

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Those who qualify can receive up to $600 over six months.

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Families with household incomes below $180,000 are eligible to receive $100 per month for six months for each dependent child under 18. Seniors 65 or older who have household incomes below $180,000 and who do not receive the Alberta Seniors Benefit can also apply for monthly payments. The government will use 2021 tax data to verify user eligibility.

The province said anyone who can’t apply online can apply in person through any registry agent or Alberta Supports Centre.

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Albertans who receive benefits through Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH), Income Support or the Alberta Seniors Benefit, or services through the Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) program, are already registered for the program and will automatically receive payments.

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Read more: Phishing scams through text on the rise in Canada, CRTC says

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Anyone who thinks they may have been targeted by a scam should report concerns to the police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

For help with the affordability payment applications, Albertans can call the verified support line (1-844-643-2789), call the affordability plan information line (1-844-644-9955) or visit a registry agent or Alberta Supports office.

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