Fake contact tracer forced NJ business to spend thousands
An Evesham woman posed as a COVID-19 contact tracer from the Burlington County Health Department and essentially shut down a plumbing business and cost them thousands in overtime as they worked implement coronavirus safety protocols, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.
Jennifer Strumph, 32, called Action Plumbing, of Marlton, and identified herself as contact tracer "Sierra Hernandez," threatening criminal action unless they complied with "isolation and cleaning protocols" after an employee tested positive for coronavirus, according to the complaint in the case.
The work cost the company $5,151 in overtime pay to implement the demands.
An office manager called the county health department and discovered that there is no one named "Sierra Hernandez" working for them, according to the complaint.
Investigators found that an app was used to create fake phone numbers and a credit card in Strumph's name was used to pay for a fake email address, according to the complaint.
Her motivation for the scam is not known, according to the complaint.
Strumph was taken into custody on March 4 and released after a first appearance in Superior Court. She was charged with second-degree computer crime, third-degree criminal coercion with intent to harm reputation and third-degree assuming a false identity.
A contact tracer will call if you test positive for coronavirus and ask where you have been and ask for information about anyone who has been in close contact with you, according to the state Department of Health. They will never ask for a Social Security number, financial or immigration status.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
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