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State officials warn public about possible contact tracing scams

As contact tracing begins to take place on a larger scale throughout New Jersey, state officials are calling attention to contact tracing scams.

News 12 Staff

May 23, 2020, 2:43 AM

Updated 1,465 days ago

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As contact tracing begins to take place on a larger scale throughout New Jersey, state officials are calling attention to contact tracing scams.
Gov. Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli warned the public about these scams at Wednesday’s press briefing – with the governor saying that there is a “special place in Hell” for those who try to scam the public.
“A contact tracer will not ask for your social security number, your bank or credit card number or your insurance information over text or over the phone,” Persichilli said.
New Jersey Homeland Security Director Jared Maples says that the department is aware of a few thousand scams.
“People soliciting information by saying they’re contact tracers,” he says. “The scammers are going to call and ask for personally identifiable information – PPI.”
Scammers may also send a text with a malicious link.
“They’re able to co-opt a bot system or some of the automated systems that are available on open networks and take advantage of those by sending those text messages out,” Maples says.
According to new information released Friday by Homeland Security, legitimate contact tracing is conducted in collaboration with a person’s local health department. Questions that may be asked include: Are you feeling sick? When did symptoms start? Where do you work?
Maples say that if anyone is concerned about a message they get from a contact tracer, they should reach out to his department and someone will help them determine what is or is not legitimate.
More information can also be found on local Health Department websites.


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