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Contact tracing scam asks people to share credit card info for required COVID tests

Boulder County health officials said staff provides guidance about quarantine and testing when contact tracing.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) is warning people of a new contact tracing scam.

BCPH said it has received multiple reports of the scam involving phone calls from people who claim to be conducting contact tracing for COVID-19. During the reported phone calls, residents have been asked to provide a credit card number to purchase a test and told they need to get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours.

The health department said it will:

  • Never ask for payment of any kind.
  • Never ask for a social security number.
  • Never ask for proof of residency.
  • Never require testing without discussing the individual’s exposures first.

“We are disheartened to hear that this health crisis is being used to take advantage of people,” said Carol Helwig, BCPH communicable disease program coordinator. “The purpose of contact tracing calls is to understand how COVID-19 is impacting the community and to try to find out how people have been exposed so that we can prevent the spread to others.”

If someone does test positive, BCPH said disease investigators contact residents to learn and provide guidance on:

  • Who they have had contact with while infectious.
  • What their symptoms have been.
  • If they need support.
  • Demographic details, such as race/ethnicity.

When contacting someone who has not tested positive, but may have come in close contact with someone who has, BCPH said staff provides guidance about quarantine and testing.

“Being open and honest with our staff is vital to slowing the spread of this virus,” Helwig said. “We don’t want these fake calls to deter residents from speaking with us. You can ask the caller who they work for. They should always say Boulder County Public Health or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”

RELATED: Police impersonators offering to cancel warrants for gift cards in Weld County

Contacted by a scammer?

Residents are encouraged to contact the Boulder County District Attorney’s Community Protection Division at 303-441-3700 if they are contacted by someone stating they are a contact tracer who asks for financial or personal non-health-related information.

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