Harrisburg, PA – Scam artists will use any excuse to get your money… including COVID-19.

The latest scam striking nationwide starts with a phone call from someone who claims that someone you know has tested positive for COVID-19 and has named you as someone who might also be infected as part of contact tracing.

This is not so far off from the truth… if you have been exposed to someone who tests positive, you might actually get this phone call for real.

However, here’s where the scam comes in.

If this person is not legitimate, instead of telling you to go to one of the free testing facilities or asking you to quarantine away from other people, they will instead tell you that you need to give them your personal or financial information or pay a fee to get a test kit sent to your house.

Remember, a legitimate caller will never ask you for your personal or financial information. If you’re being asked to pay for something over the phone, it’s likely a scam.

Want to know what a real contact tracing call would be like? Click Here to see the CDC’s guidelines for contact tracing calls and how people are being informed if they may have come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

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Info from the Federal Communications Commission, FCC:

COVID-19 Consumer Scams

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the United States, the FCC has learned of scam text-message campaigns and robocalls that prey on virus-related fears.

Tips for Avoiding COVID-19 Scams

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren’t hacked.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating. (Learn more about charity scams.)

If you think you’ve been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately.

For more information about scam calls and texts, visit the FCC Consumer Help Center and the FCC Scam Glossary. You can also file a complaint about such scams at fcc.gov/complaints.