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Sedgwick County Health Department and Attorney General’s office warn about COVID-19 related text scams

Coronavirus in Kansas
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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Health Department has been notified of a potential scam related to COVID-19. Some residents have received text messages claiming to be the Sedgwick County Health Department. The message alerts the resident that they have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19. The resident is directed to fill out a survey at a link provided online.

This is a scam. Please note that the Health Department:

  • First calls all potential close contacts of COVID-19 cases as part of infectious disease monitoring.
  • Uses text messaging only after verbal permission from close contact.
  • Never asks for personal information in an online survey, such as social security number.

If a resident receives a scam text, please report it by taking a screenshot and sending it to covid19@sedgwick.gov

On Thursday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt also urged Kansans to use caution against a new text message scam involving COVID-19.

The text message scam, as reported to the attorney general’s office, reads:

“Someone who came in contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested.”

The text then contains a link to a website for more information. Consumers are advised to not respond to the message, nor click on the bogus website link.

“The situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak has created a new avenue for scammers to take advantage of the public’s apprehension and uncertainty,” Schmidt said. “We’ve received numerous complaints regarding different types of scams, but this one was particularly egregious for attempting to mislead those targeted into thinking they might have contracted the virus. Anyone who receives this message should not respond, and instead contact our office or appropriate local authorities for help.”

Schmidt said as of Wednesday, his office has received reports of numerous COVID-19-related scams circulating in Kansas. Other coronavirus scams reported include sales of bogus products advertised as coronavirus prevention measures or treatments, as well as scammers impersonating federal, state or local government officials.

Any Kansan who has been contacted by a COVID-19 scammer should file a complaint with the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division online on a form specifically designed to cover COVID-19-related scams and price gouging at www.ag.ks.gov. Consumers may also contact the office by phone at (800) 432-2310 to request a paper complaint form be sent by mail. 

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