Virginia Department of Health reminds people to be vigilant with contact tracers

Virginia News

(File photo: Courtesy WSPA)

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is advising Virginians to be vigilant when it comes to tracing calls and emails with the ID “VDH COVID Team.”

VDH says contact tracers are sent to individuals to notify them of their exposure to COVID-19. The tracers will provide information, ask people to monitor symptoms, and refer those in need of an evaluation to a testing site.

The department asks Virginians to reply to calls, texts, or emails from the contact tracers, but also be weary of scams.

Contact tracers will not ask for money or information such as a Social Security Number (SSN), bank account details, or credit card numbers. VDH says there is no charge for the tracers.

Contact tracers will also offer to enroll Virginians in a voluntary contact monitoring platform called Sara Alert, which is used to update local health departments on their health status during the period of time they are participating in public health monitoring. The Sara Alert system uses the phone number (844) 957-2721 or the email notifications@saraalert.org.

VDH offers other tips for avoiding scams:

  • Use multi-factor authentication for online accounts
  • Enable auto-updates for the operating systems and apps on your electronic devices to ensure you have the latest security
  • Back up the data on your devices regularly, so you won’t lose valuable information if a device gets malware or ransomware.

Additional information from the Federal Trade Commission on contact tracing scams is available here.

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