Benton Franklin Health District officials say people should be on the lookout for phone calls, text messages or emails from scammers who are pretending to be CDC or BFHD workers.

BFHD leaders say a number of cases of attempted fraud have popped up locally where scammers claim to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the health district. They try to pry personal information out of victims, saying it's part of the national effort to monitor or fight the coronavirus.

Most commonly found so far are phishing, or email attacks, where official email letterheads, names and addresses are copied online then used to make fake emails that contain data mining viruses when opened. These emails ask people to reply with a variety of personal information, the scammers claim it's necessary for 'virus' tracking.

BFHD officials say the only way they update the community is via news releases, via radio, TV, social medial and other outlets. They and the CDC will not email people or try to ask them for personal data.

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