Warning: Scam Targets People Trying to Get COVID-19 Tests

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Scam Alert: How to Avoid Fake Coronavirus Tests
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If you’re one of the many people trying to get a COVID-19 test due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first thing you should know is that they’re free under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Nevertheless, there’s still a need for a buyer beware.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports that criminals are charging people money for phony tests.

COVID-19 Testing Scams: How They Work

Crooks are looking to capitalize on the increased demand for COVID-19 screening as the nation’s testing capabilities continue to expand.

According to the BBB, scammers may use one of the following ways to reach you:

  • Robocalls where they direct you to a “clinic” and ask you for personal information, including your credit card number.
  • Fake websites where you are directed to fill out a form and share sensitive information.
  • At-home testing kits which the BBB says, “will not give accurate results.”

In all versions, the person or website selling the test is short on details,” the BBB says in a news release. “They aren’t willing or able to provide any information about how the test works, where it is sourced, and what laboratory processes it.”

How to Avoid COVID-19 Testing Scams

Here are some ways to avoid being scammed by fake COVID-19 tests:

  • Never give your personal or financial information to anyone you don’t know: That includes over the phone, email or via text message.
  • Find a testing site through your doctor: Because many COVID-19 testing sites are in parking lots, it may be hard to know if all are legitimate. Ask your doctor to refer you to one so you know it’s safe, the Federal Trade Commission says. Local authorities should also be aware of the legitimate testing sites in your area.
  • Say no to any at-home testing kit: The Food & Drug Administration says that there is no approved kit that can be completely used and tested at home.

Final Thoughts

If you suspect that a COVID-19 testing site is a fraud, you can call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or use this form.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, reach out to your doctor and follow the health guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No matter what anybody tells you or tries to sell you, there is no vaccine for coronavirus yet, so don’t fall for it.

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You can stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus scams and learn more about protecting yourself here.

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