FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health says it’s unlikely that automated calls received by residents came from the health authority.

Residents who have received the calls report that the number is listed as coming from Ontario and that the automated system states the individual may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Eryn Collins, a spokesperson for Northern Health, says that while they can’t confirm the calls are suspicious, their team doesn’t use an automated system to contact residents who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

“Of course, we can’t really say for certain whether those calls should be considered suspicious, it could be potentially another jurisdiction that’s using an automated system that is seeking to contact them or that their number was entered in error into that system,” Collins said.

Northern Health says staff trying to contact residents will identify themselves as staff of NH, will typically ask if the individual is in a place where they can discuss an important health matter and will ask to confirm key info, such as date of birth, to ensure they are speaking to the right person.

The health authority says staff will never ask for sensitive identity or financial information, such as social insurance numbers or credit card information.

COVID-19 related spam calls have been circulating through the pandemic. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, reported scams include:

To learn more about Covid-19 related fraud, click here.