We have to be wary of all the scammers trying to get money out of people.

Learn how to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer. Legitimate tracers need health information, not money or personal financial information.

After nearly three months of stay-at-home orders, America is starting to open up again. Contact tracers, the folks who work for state health departments to try to track anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, are an important part of our road to recovery. But some scammers are pretending to be contact tracers so they can profit off of the current confusion. They’re trying to steal your identity, your money – or both. Luckily, there are ways to tell the difference between a real contact tracer and a scammer.

A contact tracer might get in touch to discuss results of a test you know you took, or because someone you’ve been in contact with tested positive. Depending on how your state has set up its program, legitimate contact tracers may call, email, text, or visit your home to collect information. They may ask you for:

your name and address
health information
the names of places and people you have visited
Scammers will ask you to do more. Here are some things to do to protect yourself from fake contact tracers.

Don’t pay a contact tracer. Anyone who says you need to pay is a scammer, plain and simple.
Don’t give your Social Security number or financial information. There’s no reason for a legit contact tracer to need your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.
Don’t share your immigration status. Legit contact tracers don’t need — and won’t ask for — this information.
Don’t click on links or download anything sent from a contact tracer. Real tracers will only send you texts or emails that say they’ll be calling you — not ask you to click or download anything.
What should you do if you think you’re dealing with a fake contact tracer? Check with your state health department to see if they have a way to make sure the person contacting you is a real contact tracer. Otherwise, hang up, close the door, or don’t respond to, click on, or download anything that may be in an email or text. Then, report it to your state and tell the FTC about it at FTC.gov/complaint.

Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government. Here’s what you need to know.
Ignore offers for vaccinations and miracle treatments or cures. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work.

Be wary of ads for test kits. Many test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA, and aren’t necessarily accurate. Almost all authorized home tests don’t provide rapid results and require you to send a test sample to a lab for analysis.

*Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
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They are trying to scare us during the pandemic by offering cheap low priced insurance.

Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.

*Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
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