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Connecticut health officials warn of a contact tracing scam

Courtesy of Pixabay

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is warning residents to be aware of a fake coronavirus contact tracing scam.

Several people reported receiving a phone call informing them that they had been exposed to the virus through close contact with an infected individual. They were told to contact the Fairfield Health Department.

Mary Cannon with the Fairfield Health Department said she started receiving phone calls last week from people around the state of Connecticut. She said her office only handles contact tracing for people in the town of Fairfield.

“You would be contacted normally by your local health department. So if you live in the town of Fairfield, it makes sense you are going to hear from someone at the Fairfield Health Department,” she said. “If you live in another town and they say to call another town’s health department, it’s a little bit of a trigger — it’s a warning sign.”

State officials said the 800-number used by the caller has been associated with previous scams. They warned residents to check their caller ID if they receive a contact tracing call. The caller ID should either read CT COVID TRACE or the phone number for your local health department.

Officials also said it is important that residents answer the call if they are contacted by a contact tracer.

According to the State Department of Public Health, contact tracers will never:

  • Identify you as the source of information with others in your community.
  • Share your personal or medical information, without your permission, to anyone outside of the contact tracing work.
  • Give your name or contact information to employers or immigration officials.
  • Ask for your social security number or immigration status.
  • Ask for credit card information, bank information, or demand any type of payment.
John is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.