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How to Tell a Real Contact Tracer From a Scammer | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19


By Bev O’Shea

If you’re contacted about possible exposure to the coronavirus, make sure it’s legit. Scammers are masquerading as contact tracers, and it’s smart to verify calls or texts before giving out any information.

A tracer’s job is to help contain the pandemic by reaching out to people who may be spreading the coronavirus. You could be called because your test was positive. Or perhaps someone who tested positive named you as someone they’d been in contact with, and now you need to be tested.

Fraudsters Follow the News

Scammers read the news, too, and are trying to capitalize on tracing campaigns. They’ve even made calls appear to come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And yet actual tracers can’t do their work if we won’t pick up the phone.

    >> What Is Contact Tracing and How Does It Work?

There’s no centralized testing for the U.S., and procedures and names of agencies doing tracing vary by state. You might be contacted by a state or county health department, by phone or text — there’s no single way that a genuine contact tracer will try to reach you. As a result, it can be difficult to know if a contact is legit.

First, Simply Pause

A call or text informing you that someone has “important health information to share” can be upsetting. And we don’t do our best thinking when we’re afraid, says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center.



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