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Contact tracer or scammer? Here's what to look out for

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a contact tracer, here's how to make sure you're really talking to Lane County Public Health.

Posted: Aug 20, 2020 4:30 PM
Updated: Aug 20, 2020 5:15 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- A scam involving a caller pretending to be a COVID-19 contact tracer is making the rounds across the country, including in Lane County.

Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health said they have received quite a bit of concerns about this scam -- so you should be aware and be ready.

However, the good news is there are three main things you can look out for so that it is easy to decide what is real and what is not.

Davis said Public Health will always call from a 681 or 682 number with 541 area code. If you don’t see those numbers then it is a dead give away that it’s not them. Also, when public health calls they will identify themselves and explain why they are calling and it will always be about COVID-19 and contact tracing.

If you are still unsure you can always call Lane County’s main public health line back, which is something you won’t be able to do with scammers.

“Hang up on the contact tracer, call that number back, let them know that you were just called by someone who is identifying themselves as a contact tracer and that you would like to be transferred over. They will then transfer you over to a contact tracer and you can pick up where you left off it that is indeed a legitimate call,” Davis said.

He said they will never ask for money or your financial information, social security number or immigration status. They will only verify your identity, address and talk to you about your contact with a case.

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