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Spotting the scam

Scammers are pretending to be contact tracers

POLK COUNTY—Polk County health officials are warning the public that scammers are calling people pretending to be contact tracers.

A contact tracer from the state health department could call people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 but scammers are also pretending to be contact tracers and trying to get money from people.

Polk County health officials said this week that real contact tracers will not ask for money; will not require a bank account or credit card number; will never ask for your social security number and will not ask for immigration status.

Health officials also say to not click on a link in a text or email because doing so could download malware onto your device.

Only scammers will insist on payment by gift card, money transfer or cryptocurrency; never share account information with anybody who contacts you asking for it; never give any or part of your social security number to anyone who contacts you and anyone who asks for immigration status are trying to scam you, according to local health officials.

Talking to a real contact tracer helps stop the spread of COVID-19. To report a scammer, people can visit ftc.gov/complaint.