Scammers posing as coronavirus contact tracers to get financial information


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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – From fake cures to fake websites, coronavirus scams come in many forms.

Now the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of a new problem: scammers pretending to be contact tracers.

Health officials across the country have been rolling out contact tracing programs to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, by helping health departments find people who may have been exposed to the virus.

The BBB says fake contact tracers have been tricking people into giving up financial information.

You may get a robocall that informs you that you’ve come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The caller will ask you to verify personal information, including your full name, date of birth, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and/or financial accounts. You may also receive an unsolicited message via text, email, or a social media messenger about this. The message will tell you to self-isolate and provides a link for more information. But the BBB warns the links can contain malware that downloads to your device, so don’t fall for it!

The BBB says real contact tracers will identify themselves and ask you to confirm you identity, but not for your financial information. They will never reveal the identity of the person who tested positive.

If you get a online message from a contact tracer, be sure to double check the URLs they are using. If the message alleges to come from the local government, the URL should end in .gov.

When in doubt, the BBB says you shouold perform a separate Internet search for the website.


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