Wolf Admin Warns of Possible COVID-19 Contact Tracing Scams

Phone Scam

HARRISBURG, Pa (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - The Wolf administration is warning Pennsylvanians to beware of possible COVID-19 contact racing scams.

Potentials scams may involve a caller asking for a social security number or payment for tracing activity. The departments of Health and Aging say these are not part of contact tracing.

“Contact-tracing is vital in the state’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and we want Pennsylvanians to be confident that if they receive a call from a contact-tracer that the call is legitimate,” Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “If someone is unsure and would like to verify if the caller does in fact work in contact tracing, they can call the PA Department of Health at 1-877-PA HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) to verify.”

The state said a contact tracer may ask to verify your date of birth, address and phone numbers as well as the date and location of testing if you've tested positive for COVID-19.

In addition, the state also outlined things that a tracer will not ask about:

  • Your social security number, financial or bank account information, or personal details unrelated to your potential exposure to someone with COVID-19
  • Personal information through SMS/text message or send you to any website link asking for personal information
  • Photographs or videos of any kind
  • Passwords
  • Money or payment

According to Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging Robert Torres said, “Scammers prefer to prey on individuals who may be more trusting, are alone, or may respond out of confusion or fear,” said Sec. Torres. “COVID-19 has isolated many older adults from family and other supports. Therefore, it’s understandable that an older adult, hearing that they may have been exposed, would want to cooperate with any effort to protect themselves or a loved one. However, it’s important that they stay alert about any contact from anyone identifying themselves as a contact tracer and do not provide personal information until they are sure the individual and information are legitimate.”

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