Crooks posing as coronavirus contact tracers to steal personal information

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As cases of COVID-19 skyrocket, state healthcare contact tracers are working to quickly call people who may have been in contact with an infected person.

The work is vital to slowing the spread, but crooks are using the tool to trick people into handing over personal information.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a consumer warning and asks that everyone be very cautious if they receive a phone call from someone who claims to be a contact tracer.

Here’s what to look out for: A real contact tracer will never ask for your Social Security number, bank account information or any payment. They will ask you to confirm your birthdate, but they should already have that information.

Adam Levin, of CyberScout, advises you to hang up if the caller begins by asking you for information.

“All they should be doing is either confirming your date of birth and then giving you information as to when, where, who you should call as to getting a test and then information to self-isolate,” he said.

Cybersecurity experts also warn to be particularly cautious if you receive a text message or email about contact tracing. Levin says many of these fake emails and text messages ask you to click on a link for more information. He says that is designed to either put malware on your mobile device or your computer.


Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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