Scammers are looking to take advantage of COVID-19 by posing as contact tracers

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- North Carolina is hiring hundreds of people to track down people possibly exposed to the coronavirus. These contact tracers are an important part of the reopening of the state, and scammers are jumping in on the action. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein says there is an email scam involving contact tracers.

"It says we are a tracer and you have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 click this link to learn more," Stein said. "If you click the link, it gives them access to your computer, your financial information, and it will steal your personal information."

This is known as a phishing scam, and the key is to not take any action.

Another COVID scam to watch out for involves the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Alyssa Parker, with the BBB of Eastern North Carolina says, "They are using legitimate names and companies to try and take advantage of people."

Parker shared with ABC11 the scam email that claims the BBB is selling hand sanitizer.

"We don't sell hand sanitizer and never will, but it just goes to show you that scammers will do anything they can to get payment from you," Parker said.

The key before clicking on anything in an email is to always look at the sender's email address to see who's sending it. When it's a scam, it is typically not associated with the company the scammer is claiming to be with.

Adding to the list of scams making the rounds is an email that claims to be from the World Health Organization. The email states you're eligible to receive money from the COVID solidarity response fund. But if you look closely, there are many spelling errors in the scam email.

These scams don't just happen via email, you also need to be on guard for phone scammers. It's best to never give any personal information over the phone. If you ever have a question whether it's a scam or legit, it's best to contact the company who contacted you directly. Remember to not use the contact information on the email or that they give you, instead look up the contact information yourself.
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