The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused many Americans to be fearful of catching the Coronavirus or spreading it to a loved one. Unfortunately, criminals have taken advantage of this fear and have attempted to profit through imitating Contact Tracers.
When done legitimately, contact tracing is a useful tool run by the State Health Department and it helps identify individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. If a Contact Tracer calls, they may ask a few simple questions about recent places you have visited. The service is offered at zero cost to you. You might also receive a text message alerting you that a contact tracer will call soon, and no other actions are required (no links to click).
When a scammer imitates a Contact Tracer, they will often ask very personal information that could include your social security number, banking/financial data, or other information that you would normally not share freely. They may also state that contact tracing costs money and ask for payment. Remember that real contact tracing is free of charge. If you receive a text message or email about contact tracing that contains a link, do not click it as it may download malicious software.
Contact tracing is a vital asset in our nationwide fight against COVID-19, but it’s important to remember that scammers are out there. For more information about the Coronavirus or related scams, visit the California Department of Public Health, or the Federal Trade Commission.
At Bank of Southern California, we take security seriously. If you have any questions about the ways we keep your accounts safe, or if you believe you have encountered a scammer, reach out to your Banker today. www.banksocal.com.