Some Phone Carriers Are Flagging Florida Contact Tracing Efforts as Spam

July 14, 2020

The scam calls you ignored or sent to voicemail might just be a contact tracer. 

While some phone companies are automatically flagging the number as potential spam, the calls coming from 833-917-2880 is legitimate. They are from Maximus, a vendor hired by the state for contact tracing. 

Maximus spokeswoman Lisa Miles wrote in an emailed statement that caller ID should identify the call as FL DOH (833)-917-2880, but acknowledged that some carriers had flagged the phone number.

When Matt Bizer’s phone rang on July 1, it displayed the 833 number. He picked up, confirmed his last name and birth date. The person on the other end who identified themselves as a Florida Department of Health representative delivered his results. His test was negative.

The next day he received a company-wide email saying that someone had the information of when his workplace was tested, and multiple other people reported getting calls they thought to be a scam. 

Bizer wasn’t sure what to think. He called the Department of Health, which confirmed it was a legitimate number, but Bizer remains skeptical.

Sarah Barker, staff attorney, Senior Citizen Law Project for Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, said Bizer took the right steps in the situation.

“Hopefully, they’re just giving the information and not asking for personal information. If they do ask for personal information, just stop, ask for a callback number or do a little research about the agency that’s calling you,” Barker said.

As for the calls coming from 833-917-2880, Miles wrote that Maximus was working with phone companies to alleviate the confusion. 

Maximus will attempt to call three times and leave a voicemail in case people are hesitant to answer the call.

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