Alexandria, VA – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning the public that scammers pretending to be contract tracers are using calls and text messages to steal private information.
Contact tracing is when public health departments call people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease. The departments find out where people have been and with whom they have had close contact. Once notified of possible exposure, individuals isolate and get tested.
While public health officials may send an informational text message to contacts ahead of a phone call, the message will not include a link. Rather, it informs people that they will receive a call from a specific number.
When legitimate contact tracers call, they will not ask for money or private information, such as Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. If you receive a suspicious call or link, please hang up or delete it.
Links in scam text messages can download malware onto your phone, potentially allowing scammers to steal personal information. To prevent being scammed, the FTC recommends filtering unwanted text messages, turning on two-factor authentication, and updating phone software to the latest version.
Learn more about contact tracing scams HERE..