COVID-19 contact tracing scams

WINSTON COUNTY - You’ve probably been hearing a lot about contact tracing. It’s the process of identifying people who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, instructing them to quarantine and monitoring their symptoms daily.
Contact tracers are usually hired by a state’s department of public health. They work with an infected person to get the names and phone numbers for everyone that infected person came in close contact with while possibly infectious. Those names and phone numbers are often kept in an online system. People who had contact with someone infected with COVID-19 may first get a text message from the health department, telling them they’ll get a call from a specific number. The tracer who calls will not ask for personal information, like a Social Security number. Tracers won’t ask you for money or information like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. Anyone who does is a scammer, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
There’s no question, contact tracing plays a vital role in helping stop the spread of COVID-19. Scammers pretending to be contact tracers are also sending text messages, But theirs are spam text messages that ask you to click a link. Unlike a legitimate text message from a health department, which only wants to let you know they’ll be calling, this message includes a link to click.
Don’t take the bait. Clicking on the link will download software onto your device, giving scammers access to your personal and financial information. Ignore and delete these scam messages.


See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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