DOH warns of fake contact tracers getting info from people
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public about fake contact tracers posing as department personnel, clarifying that the agency currently has no team meant to do contact tracing.
According to a statement posted on DOH’s Facebook page on Monday, the department has received reports that there are people who are making calls and messages, and who have identified themselves as members of the DOH Contact Tracing Team.
“This is to inform the public of a new scheme fraudulently misrepresenting the [DOH]. We have received reports of citizens getting calls from certain individuals misrepresenting themselves as members of the DOH Contact Tracing Team,” DOH said.
“The public is reminded that DOH does not have a ‘contact tracing team’. If they introduce themselves as part of the LGU Contact Tracing Team, please verify basic information and ensure that they have been referred by your Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERTs),” it added.
ADVISORY: The Department of Health advises the public to be vigilant and not entertain calls from individuals…
The DOH said that they have already coordinated with the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the issue, as the people behind this scheme supposedly use the health crisis as a chance to obtain personal information and eventually extort money.
The department also advised people to refrain from texting back and giving out their personal information to the fake contact tracers. The public should save the number of fake contact tracers and block it, and then report to DOH’s hotlines (632) 8651-7800 local 5003-5004) or by sending an email to [email protected]
The statements from DOH came a day after Vice President Leni Robredo revealed in a radio interview that the government’s contact tracing efforts were slow, noting that a DOH contact tracing team contacted her doctor-friend just recently — even if the health worker got sick last April, and recovered before May.
“My friend who is a doctor from a Pasay hospital tested positive for COVID-19 early April. In fact he was hospitalized for three weeks, so almost a month. They got information from him. Now he has recovered, in fact he is again working,” Robredo said, speaking in Tagalog during her radio program at DZXL.
“But the other day, he posted on Facebook that the DOH was doing contact tracing on him. They were asking for the details, but he has recovered a long time ago,” she added.
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