Lake County warns of contract tracing scam

Daily Herald report
Updated 6/21/2020 5:45 PM

Lake County officials are warning residents of contact tracing scams where criminals pretend to be contact tracers to steal vital information like Social Security numbers and banking information over the phone, via email and in text messages.

At least one Lake County resident has claimed to have given vital information such as their Social Security number during what they thought was a contact tracing call.


"Preying on people during a pandemic is pathetic," said Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim. "Anyone in Lake County arrested and charged with scamming the citizens during this pandemic will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Knowing what to expect if you are contacted by a Lake County Health Department contact tracer can help you avoid contact tracing scams. Here is an overview of the process:

The Health Department reaches out to people who test positive for COVID-19 and those who have been in close contact with a confirmed case. Contact tracers first try to reach you via the phone, then via text message. The Health Department will only leave messages asking you to call back at (847) 377-8130.

Contact tracers interview people who test positive for COVID-19 over the phone, help them recall where they have been and who they have seen while infectious, and give guidance and support so you can take steps to protect others. Time is crucial in the process, because a person may spread COVID-19 to others before they know they are infected. The interview is voluntary, and you may choose what information you share.

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