Skip Navigation

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

Public Safety News

 

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: covid 19

As more of the population ventures out, it increases our chances of being exposed to COVID-19. This could lead to a call from a contact tracer who is hired by the Maryland Department of Health to track where you have been and who you’ve been in contact with in the last two weeks. Their job is to contact you if there’s a possibility that you’ve been exposed to the virus to help prevent it from spreading to others.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Maryland Department of Health have warned us of scammers pretending to be contact tracers. Maryland is using covidLINK, a contact tracing initiative to help keep us safe. A contact tracer will contact you by phone, and occasionally in person if needed. A legitimate contact tracer will ask you about your health, if you have any symptoms of the virus, and, if so, how long you’ve had those symptoms. You may be asked of places that you recently visited, names of individuals that you’ve been in close contact with, and if you have contact information for those people. Provide as much information as possible so that the contact tracer can get in touch with others who may have potentially been infected. If you tested positive for Coronavirus, the contact tracer may also request the date of your test and the name of your insurance company for additional verification.

Scammers want to steal your identity and money. You should never be asked for passwords, photographs or videos, or personal details unrelated to COVID-19. Here are steps to prevent being scammed.

  • Never pay a contact tracer. Their service to you is free and you should never be asked for money or payment.
  • Never give anyone your personal information. You will not be asked for your Social Security number, bank, credit card or financial information.
  • Never share your immigration status. A contact tracer doesn’t even need that information.

Maryland has provided a way for you to verify that you’re being contacted by a legitimate contact tracer. If you receive a call from them, the caller ID will read “MD COVID.” If you do not have caller ID, the incoming phone number should be (240) 466-4488.

To report a scam or other consumer problem related to the Coronavirus, file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. Information you provide will be shared with local, state and federal law enforcement partners.

The information you provide to a contact tracer is crucial in reducing the spread of the virus and keeping others healthy. Your response will help inform and protect others.

While most of us are adhering to the order of staying inside during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are times when we must go out.

Be aware that criminals are not staying indoors. They are waiting for you to let your guard down when approaching your vehicle.

Avoid being a victim of a carjacking or robbery with these tips.

  • Look around when approaching your vehicle. If someone is walking toward you or standing by your vehicle in a parking lot that is nearly empty, walk away. If you feel that you're in immediate danger, scream and run into a store if one is nearby.
  • Stay off your cellphone while walking. That distraction makes you a prime target for a robbery or carjacking. That phone call can wait until you are in the store, your home, or locked safely in your car.
  • Lock your car or home door as soon as you get inside.
  • Park in well lit areas if you are out at night.
  • Avoid parking near trees or bushes if possible as they allow for criminals to hide and wait until you are at your vehicle.
  • Have your keys ready ahead of time. Don't fumble for them as you are walking through a parking lot or entering your home. That gives a criminal more time to approach you.
  • Do not engage the car’s unlocking system until you are at the door of the vehicle. You don't want to point out where you are headed and which vehicle is yours in the lot.
  • Ask for an escort or security staff to walk with you to your car if you feel uncomfortable when leaving a store or other place of business.
  • Look inside your vehicle before you enter it to make sure no one is hiding in the front or back seat.

Dial 911 if you feel threatened! Criminals are not working from home so you must stay alert when venturing outside.

Remember to keep your distance, wash your hands and stay inside.

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017