BBB says scammers are posing as contact tracers


ST. LOUIS – The mandatory mask rule begins at 7 a.m. Friday in St. Louis City and St. Louis County and experts say mask-wearing combined with testing and contact tracing is needed to get COVID-19 under control.

However, the Better Business Bureau is warning people about scams involving contact tracing.

Contact tracing informs people that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, but scammers are taking advantage of this vital information tracking to prey on consumers.

The BBB Scam Tracker has seen consumers receive an unsolicited text message, email or social media message informing them they have been exposed to COVID-19, instructing them to self-isolate, and the consumer is provided with a link to allow them to fill out more information. The link, in reality, may download malware to their device.

Another scam the BB has seen is a robocall informing the consumer of COVID-19 exposure, and when the consumer elects to speak to a representative, the caller will ask to verify personal information, potentially leading to identity theft.

A real contact tracer will make contact only by phone and will always self-identify as a representative of a local health department or local government. While the contact tracer must confirm personal information such as name, address and date of birth, they will never inquire about financial information or ask for any government ID numbers or bank account details. They will ask about your current health, medical history, and recent travels, but they will never reveal the name of the person who tested positive for COVID-19 and prompted their call.

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