Phone Scammers Now Pose as Contact Tracers

Don Tran
By Don Tran
August 26, 2020NTD Evening News

To contain the virus pandemic, contact tracers have been reaching out to infected people, asking them for information about whom they’ve recently been in touch with.

The purpose is to monitor the virus’ spread. Health officials consider it very important, but the practice has been taken advantage of by phone scammers.

Chief Security Architect of ProtectNow Robert Siciliano said these scammers pose as contact tracers to gain the victim’s trust.

“This confidence is to make the victim confident that the person on the other end of the phone is who they say they are, and as long as that scammer comes off as being notable and confident in their delivery, then that scam is set,” Siciliano said.

According to the US Attorney General Office in Montana, the scammers may ask for your social security number or your bank account information.

They might also charge you for the fake contact tracing.

Siciliano said the goal of containing the virus’ spread makes it more likely for people to talk.

“At this given point in time, the entire world is engaged in a predatory virus. And when there is a solution on the horizon, be that a vaccine or a contact tracer, essentially if you can provide information that will alleviate the problem, people will be more willing to give up their sensitive information as a result,” he said.

In New York, state officials threatened fines of $2,000 a day to a group who refused to cooperate with contact tracers.

Threatening people with legal consequences is a scare tactic used by scammers.

He said, “They will threaten with lawsuits, they’ll threaten sentences, they’ll threaten with arrests, they’ll threaten with fines, they’ll threaten with some kind of loss of your freedoms. And the moment that you feel your blood pressure going up, or there’s some type of fear or threat involved, then simply hang up.”

Siciliano also said to call a government issued phone number to determine if the call was real or fake.

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