July 14, 2020

Scam Alert: COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is being used by health departments to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing involves identifying people who have come into contact with the virus and notifying them, recommending they self-quarantine at home for 14 days to prevent spreading the virus.

A contact tracer from your state health department might call you if you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. However, it is important to be aware that scammers are also posing as contact tracers in order to trick you into paying them or providing your personal information. Here are some things to be aware of:

  1. Real contact tracers will NOT ask you for money.
    • Only scammers will insist on payment by gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency.
  2. Contact tracing does NOT require your bank account or credit card number.
    • Never share account information with anybody who contacts you asking for it.
  3. Legitimate contact tracers will NEVER ask you for your Social Security number.
    • Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you.
  4. Your immigration status does NOT matter for contact tracing, so real tracers won’t ask about it.
    • If they do, you can bet it is a scam.
  5. Do not click on a link in a text or email.
    • Doing so can download malware onto your computer or electronic device.
  • Talking to a real contact tracer helps stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Reporting scammers helps stop them, too.
  • Report fake contact tracers to your state by calling 1-800-482-8982 or emailing oag@arkansasag.gov. You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint