Officials with the Better Business Bureau warn that contact tracing scams are becoming more prevalent in the midst of the pandemic. An investigator with the agency says scammers know public health agencies are calling people who may have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive person and using that to initiate their scheme.
Don O’Brien says you should be on high alert, as scammers use enhanced fear and intimidation tactics in the midst of the pandemic.
“We talk about social security. I don’t know if a lot of people before 2020 knew what the Centers for Disease Control or CDC, that’s another form they are trying to use. They might also say they are the Food and Drug Administration that there is some type of medicine they are trying to pawn off as some sort of COVID-19 cure, so you really got to be careful if you get contacted out of the blue from people saying they are from these kinds of agencies.”
While the coronavirus angle is new, preying on people’s fears is not. A recent survey found that 44-percent of Americans have been contacted by one of these types of impersonators, leading to $450 million dollars in losses over the last five years.