I predicted this exact thing. When a story came out how contact tracers in New Jersey were having a hard time A) getting people to even answer their phones and B) getting people to share information once contacted, I knew a certain percentage of those folks were probably leery of the calls being a scam.

Think about it. No matter what number or info pops up on your phone we all know scammers can easily spoof fake numbers today. Many of us long before the pandemic got used to not answering a call outside of our personal contact list. If you DO answer a call, with all the conmen today many would wonder if this really were an official with the state or a health department asking these personal questions.

Turns out people would have good reason to be suspicious. NorthJersey.com is reporting scam artists are contacting people by phone, often via text message, trying to gain personal information.

What to look out for?

If a text comes your way that has a link, delete it. The state says legitimate health departments do not send texts containing links. Ever. Other things a real contact tracer will NEVER ask for according to the Division of Consumer Affairs:

Social Security number

Bank account information

Credit card information

Money in any form

Your immigration status

If a call or text requests anything of this sort, hang up or delete. If you think you’ve been a victim of a contact tracer scam you can file a complaint on njconsumeraffairs.gov.

With all the grandparent scams, lottery scams, Nigerian email scams, etc., it would have been nice for these scumbags to not expand their repertoire by using a worldwide pandemic for their personal gain.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.