Virginia Department of Health Urges Residents to Engage with Legitimate Contact Tracers, Avoid Scams

Contact tracers will not ask for social security numbers or bank details.

illustration of contact tracingThe Virginia Department of Health employs contact tracers to notify individuals who have been exposed to known cases of COVID-19. Contact tracing saves lives by helping to prevent the spread of the virus, so please do your part by answering calls, text messages, or emails from the Commonwealth’s contact tracers, while also remaining aware of potential contact tracing scams. 

Ways to spot the difference between a legitimate contact tracer and a scammer:
  • When a contact tracer is calling you, caller ID will read “VDH COVID Team.”
  • Real contact tracers will not ask for money or information such as a Social Security Number (SSN), bank account details, or credit card numbers.
  • The Commonwealth does not charge individuals for contact tracing services.
Contact tracers will offer to enroll Virginians in a voluntary contact monitoring platform called Sara Alert, which individuals can use 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 is secure and always contacts users from the same phone number or email: 844-957-2721 or notifications@saraalert.org.

In addition to being vigilant, there are several other ways to stay safe from 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.

Contact Information