MISSOULA - Right now Attorney General Tim Fox is warning Montanans of contact tracing scams circulating throughout the Treasure State.
In order to avoid these scams, Fox is urging people to be cautious when answering contact tracing phone calls, texts or emails.
Contact tracing is the process that helps health officials reach people who may have come in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
“Contact tracing is an important part of managing the spread of COVID-19,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “Unfortunately, there are scammers trying to profit from the confusion and fear surrounding the coronavirus. Don’t give out any financial information, and never pay someone who claims to be a contact tracer. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for payment,” Fox added.
Contact tracing personnel may reach out to you to discuss the results of a test you know you took or because someone you were in contact with tested positive. Legitimate contact tracers will be working under the authority of the local county health department and will generally call or text. They may ask you for your name, address, health information, and the names and phone numbers of people and places you have visited.
However, scammers will ask for information. To avoid falling for a scam, remember that you do not have to pay a contact tracer. Also do not give your social security number or other financial information to someone over the phone. Another question that has been asked is about immigration status. Legitimate contact tracers do not need this information and will not ask for it.
To report contact tracing scams or any other COVID-19 related fraud, contact Fox’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) online or call 1-800-481-6896 toll-free.