Richland Police and others are urging people to be careful if they get a text or email claiming a close friend, family member or someone they know has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The texts generally claim the recipient urgently needs to get tested, and then they're asked to click on a link, supposedly taking them to the 'testing' site or page. The messages are designed to take advantage of the fears and panic with COVID.

But it's a scam.  If it's not designed to download a 'trojan' horse or malware on their phone or computer, it will ask the person for sensitive data such as SSN, phone, ID etc.

You will never be notified by any reputable health organization in this manner,  it's like the IRS...they will never 'call' or text you and claim you owe money.  IF you do get one of these suspicious texts or emails, please provide as much information to local law enforcement and do NOT act on it in any way.