FTC warns of COVID-19 contact tracing text scams

Scammers posing as contact tracers from public health departments are sending out fake text messages to try to steal people's private information, according to a notice published by the Federal Trade Commission this week.

The text messages that scammers are sending out ask the individual to click a link for more information. One example of a spam message reads "Someone who came in contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested," followed by the malicious link.

Clicking on the link downloads software onto the user's device, which gives scammers access to personal and financial information, FTC said.

Contact tracers work with state public health departments to get contact information of people that an infected person came in close contact with. These individuals will sometimes receive a text message from a contact tracer before an official phone call.

More articles on cybersecurity:
10,000+ patients' info breached in Arizona medical group email hack
Geisinger hospital employee unnecessarily accessed 800 patient records: 4 details
Human error accounts for nearly one-third of healthcare data breaches

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