Police warn of contact tracing scams in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. — As Washington state gears up to track the spread of COVID-19, there’s a new warning about people posing as contact tracers.

Public health professionals perform case investigations and contact tracing to help slow and prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

Olympia police tweeted that scammers are now posing as contact tracers to get sensitive information.

The biggest red flag is being asked for information such as credit card and Social Security numbers.

>> Inslee announces plan for state’s COVID-19 contact tracing system

Officers say official tracers will usually call you. So if you get a text or email, be skeptical, especially if it includes a link. According to Olympia police, people should not click on links in unsolicited text messages that state they may have been exposed.

The state Department of Health said real contact tracers would never ask for Social Security numbers, marital status, immigration status or financial information.

What they will ask for is date of birth, address, gender at birth, race, ethnicity and other questions.

The DOH said information collected during interviews is used only by public health agencies and is protected in secure systems.

Learn more about contact tracing at this link.