The City-Cowley County Health Department is warning the public about an apparent scam involving contract tracing for the coronavirus.
The department said in a press release that it was made aware Thursday morning of residents receiving calls from an 800 number telling them they had been exposed to COVID-19 and to call the health department immediately and schedule testing.
“Please know that this is absolutely a scam,” the release states. “The City-Cowley County Health Department has not authorized any outside agencies to contact exposed citizens on our behalf. If you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, and we are aware as a result of contact tracing, you will be contacted by us directly. The phone number that will show on your caller ID will be a local number as well.”
The release stated that one specific number was 800-737-8423. A call to that number led to a recorded message about free roadside assistance and discounted car repairs. A person who eventually answered the call after recorded prompts said the number is for Protect My Car, a vehicle warranty program.
He said there must have been some sort of mix up because the company has been in business for 15 years and would not have been involved in a scam.