Attorney general warns of coronavirus contact tracing scams

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning of coronavirus contact tracing scams.

In a video message released this week, Moody said to be cautious and verify if the person on the other end of the line is truly a contact tracer.

The process, which involves health department workers to call you to let you know if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or to keep tabs on you if you’ve tested positive, is considered crucial to slowing the spread.

The Better Business Bureau of Central Florida said the scammers are using the same trick with a new cover-up.

“Scammers pretty much take the same scam and just mold it to whatever is in front of us,” said CEO Holly Salmons.

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The attorney general said while the process does require you to verify information if a person asks for your birthday - that’s a red flag as true contact tracers should already know that.

Salmons said they will never ask you for social security or financial information.

“If they’re asking very personal information from you those are red flags,” she said.

She said to pay attention to how they reach you, adding that contact tracers normally call.

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“Any sort of social media contact, or an email or a text message that includes links, don’t click on it,” Salmons said.

Moody said a giveaway is if the person tells you the name of the person who tested positive. She said your local health department wouldn’t do that.

So how do you protect yourself while keeping a peace of mind in case the call is not a scam?

“You can hang up the phone. Contact the health department to either confirm or have them deny if they’re actually looking for you,” said Salmons.