COVID-19 contact tracing is an important step to slow the spread of COVID-19. Health officials need to notify and collect information from people who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. However, scammers are using this effort as an opportunity to pose as contact tracers and steal your personal information.
Below are facts about contact tracing, and ways you can prevent your personal information from being stolen.
Legitimate contact tracing
- If you have tested positive, a contact tracer may ask you to provide names and phone numbers/emails/addresses for everyone you came in close contact with while possibly infectious so they can contact them as well.
- An authorized contact tracer will not disclose the identity of the person who tested positive that is the starting place for that tracing effort.
- A legitimate contact tracer should be able to immediately provide you with up-to-date testing locations, phone numbers, and information about whether you need to make an appointment at a particular location and what you will need to bring to that visit.
- Scammers pretending to be contact tracers may send text or email messages asking residents to click a link, which are “phishing” scams that help a scammer to gain access to a person’s computer, your financial information, and/or personal information. Do not click on any strange links or links from an unverified source. If you are concerned that a link may not be legitimate, contact your state government to verify.
- Scammers may ask you to provide/confirm:
Money or gift card
Bank account number
Credit card number
Social security number
For more information, visit the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Text Message Scams page by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).