Scammers are taking advantage of COVID contact tracing to steal personal information, according to federal officials. Spoofing actual contact tracing numbers makes phone calls appear legitimate, and email addresses can appear valid, which help scammers pose as contact tracers who track people who have been exposed or infected with the coronavirus. So how can you tell the difference?
What to Expect
A contact tracer from your state health department might call if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. But scammers are pretending to be contact tracers, too. Here are 5 ways you can spot the scam.
- Real contact tracers won’t ask you for money:
Only scammers insist on payment by gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency.
- Contact tracing doesn’t require your bank account or credit card number:
Never share account information with anybody who contacts you asking for it.
- Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Social Security number:
Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you.
- Your immigration status doesn’t matter for contact tracing, so real tracers won’t ask:
If they do, you can bet it’s a scam.
Do not click on a link in a text or email:
Doing so can download malware onto your device.