We can’t have National Cyber Security Awareness Month in 2020 without talking about new threats brought on by Covid-19. One of the main things that cybercriminals are doing to take advantage of this pandemic is impersonating health officials at the CDC, WHO, or a local health department. One of the main footholds they’ve found to take advantage of is contact tracing. They can conduct these scams over the phone, by email, or by text. It’s important to know that the chances of you getting a legitimate contact tracing call are high, and they serve a good purpose, so we don’t want to scare you off from complying with legitimate health officials. That being said, we want to inform you on what you should and shouldn’t expect from contact tracing efforts.
Here are 5 red flags that point to a scam:
1. Asking for your Social Security Number
2. Asking for money
3. Asking for bank or credit card information
4. Inquiring about citizenship/immigration status
5. Sending a link via text or email. The only texts or emails you should be getting will simply be informing you that they will be calling.
However, you CAN expect them to ask for your name, address, or phone number. A real tracing call will focus on your symptoms and who you have been around. It’s also typical that real health officials will attempt to contact you three times.