A new phone scam circulating throughout the country features callers posting as COVID-19 contact tracers, who are trying to steal your information.
State officials and federal agencies have warned people about the callers, who want your credit card and bank account information.
- The Montana attorney general revealed the details of one scam, where callers tell people “I’m calling from your local health department to let you know that you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.”
- The caller will then ask for your payment information before they can share more information.
- “Legitimate contact tracers will never ask you to pay a fee. Do not provide payment, and end the call.” — Office of Consumer Protection.
“Contact tracing is an important part of managing the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, there are scammers trying to profit from the confusion and fear surrounding the coronavirus. Don’t give out any financial information, and never pay someone who claims to be a contact tracer. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for payment.” — U.S. Attorney General Tim Fox said
Health officials told NPR that you should try not to fall for it since payment information is never apart of the process.
- “That is absolutely not part of the process. No one should give bank information or credit card information,” Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told NPR.
- Contact tracers will call people who may be infected with the coronavirus to tell them they may have been exposed and to quarantine for some time.