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Contact tracing scams

The coronavirus has created a perfect storm for scammers, according to information provided by AARP North Dakota. One scam to arise this summer is scammers posing as contact tracers working for local or state health departments.

Contact tracing is an important part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. But legitimate contact tracers will never ask for money, bank account information, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or medical insurance information.

If you receive a text message from someone who claims to be a contact tracer, do not click on any links in the message. It’s a scam and clicking the link will download software on your device to access personal and financial information.

People are also receiving calls saying they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The caller says you must be tested for the virus and asks for your mailing address to send you a test kit. Then they ask for your credit card number to pay for the kit and your test results. This is also a scam. Free testing is being offered in many locations around the state.

When in doubt, don’t act before contacting your local public health department or the state health department.

If you receive an unsolicited phone call from anyone asking for money or any personal information, just hang up!

If you think you have fallen victim to any type of scam, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360 for guidance and support, or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork

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