Loophole in CERB could leave seniors vulnerable to scammers, MP warns

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A loophole in the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit that doesn’t prohibit people charging fees to help others get relief funds needs to be closed to prevent scams, an NDP MP says.

Don Davies, who represents Vancouver Kingsway, says 77 seniors at a residence in east Vancouver were approached by an individual offering to register them for the relief funds in exchange for a 10 per cent cut of the money.

None of the seniors approached were actually eligible for the benefit, Davies said.

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“Next year when tax time is due or they’re audited, these seniors would find out they weren’t qualified. They’d be out the money that they paid and they’d have to pay the money back. It’s a scam,” he said in an interview.

Davies believes the scam highlights a loophole in the emergency relief funds, where it is not prohibited to charge an individual to help them with their benefit application.

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“Considering it’s so simple, it’s a three or four question application, there’s really no justification in charging anyone for such a simple application,” he said.

Davies has written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office to have the issue addressed.

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