Crow Wing County Public Health Warns of Contact Tracing Scams
Crow Wing County Public Health officials have released information on potential phone contact tracing scams that are percolating throughout the area.
They released the following statement: “The process of identifying people who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is known as “Contact Tracing” and is being exploited by criminals in their scam campaigns. Contact tracers in Crow Wing County are coordinated by the Crow Wing County Public Health Team and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Contact Tracers work with an infected person to gather data associated with the virus and find out about others that infected person came in close contact with.”
According to the Public Health officials, the Federal Trade Commission began warning the public on May 19th of scammers attempting to steal information from people by pretending to be contact tracers. The scam campaigns involved phone calls from scammers claiming to be contact tracers, and spam text and email messages asking people to click on links which takes them to malicious sites or downloads malicious software onto devices.
They released the following steps to protect yourself against a potential scam:
- Check if your phone has an option to filter and block messages from unknown senders of spam
- Wireless provider may have a tool or service that lets you block text messages
- Protect your online accounts by using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- Regularly update your OS on your electronic devices and apply security updates
- Back up the data on your device regularly to prevent valuable data loss