CORONAVIRUS/CECC urges awareness of COVID-19 contact tracing scam

05/16/2021 07:13 PM
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Residents in Taipei enjoy their Sunday afternoon in a local park. CNA photo May 16, 2021
Residents in Taipei enjoy their Sunday afternoon in a local park. CNA photo May 16, 2021

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has received reports of scammers pretending to be from local health authorities in order to obtain people's personal information, officials said Sunday.

The telephone scammers ask people to provide their personal information under the pretense of conducting contact tracing of COVID-19 cases, Deputy Interior Minister Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), also a deputy CECC commander, said at a press conference.

Chen said the Criminal Investigation Bureau is investigating the scams and he urged people to be aware of them.

The CECC will set up a "verification platform" in the next few days that will allow people to confirm whether the calls they receive are authentic, CECC head and Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said.

The 1922 hotline run by Taiwan's Centers of Disease Control has told local media that when a person is listed as a contact of a COVID-19 case, the health authorities will call them to confirm their name, phone number and address, but will not ask for more detailed information.

The National Police Agency (NPA) has suggested that when receiving such scam calls, people should take note of whether the phone number matches that of the number displayed on the health authorities' website.

People can also ask the callers which government agency they represent, hang up the phone, and then call the agency directly.

They can also report to the 165 anti-fraud hotline run by the NPA.

(By Chiang Yi-ching)

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