CALIFORNIA — On Friday, July 24, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office issued a statement warning the public about a “contact tracing scam.”

The D.A’s Office said that criminals are “trying to bilk people” during the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the scam, criminals pretend they are gathering information about the number of COVID-19 cases.

“They ask for Social Security numbers, money, financial information, immigration status and other sensitive information not required for authentic contact tracing,” the Office said. “Victims have been contacted through telephone calls, text messages and email.”

The D.A’s Office reminded the public that legitimate contact tracers “may request your full name and date of birth.” 

However, the Office advised the public never to give any personal information about your finances, your Social Security number or detailed health information to any individual claiming to be a contact tracer. 

“Criminals trying to cash in on the coronavirus pandemic could end up stealing your financial and personal information,” said L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey in a Twitter post.

In addition, contacting a local health department can be a safe way to verify that calls or messages related to contact tracing are valid. The public should also be wary of links or attachments in emails or text messages.

The public can visit the California Department of Public Health’s Contact Tracing page for additional information about contact tracing.