Contact tracing is an important tool in understanding and preventing the spread of COVID-19. It is important to know what a legitimate contact tracer will and will not ask you to avoid scams.
Contact tracers work with an infected person to gather names and phone numbers of people they have been in contact with while possibly infected.
These tracers will then contact those people “to inform them that they were exposed, educate them on what to do and provide supports as necessary for the situation. Contact tracers will not use your name when reaching out to your close contacts. Your information will stay confidential.” (PA Department of Health, 2020)
A contact tracer may ask:
- For verification of your date of birth, address, and any other phone numbers you may have; and
- If you have already tested positive for COVID-19 they may also ask for the date and location of where you were tested.
A contact tracer will NEVER ask you for:
- 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; or
- Money or payment.
A contact tracer will NEVER share your information with any local, state or federal law enforcement agency.
If you would like to verify if the caller does in fact work in contact tracing, call the PA Department of Health at 1-877-PA HEALTH. (PA Dept of Health, 2020)
For more information on contact tracing and how to avoid scams, view the following links and infographic: