City partnership launches tool to help NYers verify identity of their contact tracers
AmNews Staff Reports | 12/3/2020, midnight
The NYC Test & Trace Corps today announced the launch of “Validate My Tracer,” a new tool designed to allow New Yorkers to easily verify that the person reaching out to them is a contract tracer with the NYC Test & Trace Corps, in recognition of International Fraud Awareness Week. The tool is now available on the program website, testandtrace.nyc.
“As more people test positive for COVID-19, our contact tracers are reaching more New Yorkers than ever,” said NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “Our program has been able to reach 90% of all New Yorkers diagnosed with COVID-19 since our program launched in June, and we are confident that this tool will help us reach even more New Yorkers by earning their trust from the start.”
Individuals who receive a phone call or a home visit from a contact tracer can now ask them to share a one-time validation code. New Yorkers can then visit testandtrace.nyc, select “Click Here to Validate My Tracer,” and enter the code. The tool will confirm the contact tracer’s name if the code is valid. Once a valid code has been used, it expires and cannot be re-used, thus preventing the possibility of fraud or misuse.
“The Test & Trace Corps always has been committed to protecting the privacy and security of New Yorkers’ personal and health information,” said Dr. Neil Vora, director of tracing, NYC Test & Trace Corps. “With Validate My Tracer, contact tracers have another tool to build trust with New Yorkers, and New Yorkers can feel even safer engaging with a contact tracer.”
“We are proactively launching this tool to keep New Yorkers as safe as possible,” said Lisa Hendricks, chief technology officer of the NYC Test & Trace Corps. “Contact tracing is a tried and true public health measure, and this new technology improves upon that practice. We are taking every step to ensure the safety of our community members.”
The Test & Trace Corps reminds New Yorkers to answer the phone if they get a call from NYC Test & Trace or a phone number beginning with 212-540-XXXX or 212-242-XXXX. New Yorkers should be vigilant when accepting a call or home visit from a contact tracer. Remember, a contact tracer will NEVER:
-Ask for your name—they will know it when they call or visit you
-Ask for your Social Security number
-Ask for any private financial information
-Ask for credit card information
-Ask to take control of or download software to your phone, tablet, or computer
International Fraud Awareness Week was established by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners in 2000 as a dedicated time to raise awareness about fraud and its impact. The week-long campaign this year is active from Nov. 15-21.
The Test & Trace Corps is the city’s comprehensive effort to test, trace and provide support for every case of COVID-19 and every person exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Test & Trace Corps allows the city to immediately isolate and care for those who test positive for the virus and then rapidly track, assess and quarantine anyone who may have been exposed. To help all New Yorkers safely separate at home and monitor their health status, the Take Care pillar of the Test & Trace Corps also offers free hotel rooms with wraparound services for New Yorkers who are unable to safely separate in their own homes. For those safely separating at home, contact tracers perform daily calls and conduct in-person visits as necessary. These calls allow tracers to gauge the progress of cases, ensure proper compliance with separation protocol, and connect people to more supportive services as necessary. Today, 98% of all COVID-19 cases and 96% of contacts reported following isolation and quarantine requirements.
For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.