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The Scam

This new scam involves callers who pose as contact tracers from local and state health departments. In many cases, the caller will tell victims that they’re calling from the health department to notify the individual that they have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. At this point, this may seem like a legitimate call that people may get or may have gotten from the health department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the scammer will then ask for payment or banking information before they can continue. Public and federal officials say that this will never be some- thing that a legitimate contact tracer would do. Again, a legitimate contact tracer may call you to notify you that you may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, but they will never ask you to provide financial or credit card information.

What should I do if I receive a call?

Because contact tracing is part of a federal, state and local response to minimizing the spread of COVID-19, you may receive a phone call from your state or local health department. It’s important to your health that you don’t avoid these calls out of fear of falling for
a scam, but rather be cautious when answering the
phone.

You may be asked to confirm your name, but be wary of providing any other confidential information, including your Social Security number. If the caller asks for any financial or credit card information, hang up the phone. This is a scam phone call.

If you’re suspicious about the call, ask for the caller’s name and number to call them back at a later time. Legitimate contact tracers will provide this information, which will also allow you to double-check the legitimacy of the call with your local or state health department. 

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