A loved one’s health could depend on the truth if you get a call from a real contact tracer about your exposure to the coronavirus. But beware impostors who ask you for payment or to click on a link.
3 minute podcast and full story at Source: >Scam Alert: A Real COVID Contact Tracer Won’t Ask You For Money : Shots – Health News : NPR
“State officials and federal agencies warn there’s a new phone scam circulating: Callers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers are trying to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims…Legitimate contact tracers don’t ask for payment or seek other financial information.
“Be discerning, but don’t avoid real tracers
“Legitimate tracing calls might be preceded by a text message, notifying patients of an upcoming call from the health department. Then, in that initial call, the legitimate tracer will seek to confirm an address and date of birth, especially if you are the COVID-positive patient, Watson says.
“They ask about your identity,” Watson says, “to make sure you are the person they are trying to reach so they don’t disclose potentially private information to the wrong person.”
“Anytime someone calls you for information, you should be concerned about who is calling,” says Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “If they are legitimate, you can say, ‘Give me your name and phone number’ and you can always call them back” after doing some checking.
“Be concerned if you get an initial text asking you to click on a link, which might be spam and could download software onto your phone, the Federal Trade Commission warns.
“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,” the FTC says. And contact tracers in most regions do not ask your immigration or financial status.
“Another clear red flag: being asked for your Social Security number. Don’t ever divulge that. And beware of any caller who gives you names of the COVID-19 patients they say led them to you — that’s a sign of a scammer.
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