BBB Warns Oklahomans Against Contact Tracing Scams


Friday, June 19th 2020, 3:36 pm
By: Kelsey Kernstine


OKLAHOMA CITY -

As COVID-19 cases hit their highest spike across the state, health care professionals are using contact tracing to manage the spread, but scammers are taking advantage of the process.

The Oklahoma State Health Department said there are 350 trained contact tracers in the state, who've been instrumental in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

However, it's important to know they will never ask for your social security numbers or banking information.

Kitt Letcher with the Better Business Bureau said most contact tracing scams happen via a text message and some even through a phone call.

"It's like robo calling via text," she said. "People want to be thoughtful.” 

It's that thoughtfulness that scammers are taking advantage of.

"It's a way for other entities and individuals to be able to get your personal information,” Letcher said.

Con artists will use those details to steal your identity or create fake accounts.

The Oklahoma State Health Department said you can expect a tracer to contact you about 48 hours after a positive test.

"If they are asking for you to put in your information and give them additional information that they don't already have, then that should be a big red flag and something you should stay away from,” Letcher said.

The health department said it’s also not asking for social security numbers, banking information or credit card numbers.

But you can expect to be asked about your birth date, address and any other people who could be at risk of exposure.

The state said if you've received a contact tracing call, you can verify it through Oklahoma's coronavirus hotline number at 211.