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Warning About Scams Involving Fake COVID-19 Tests

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Sonora, CA–The US Food and Drug Administration is warning people of fraudulent coronavirus tests. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the surge of the Omicron variant has led to an increase in testing for COVID-19 and it’s become a concern. That scarcity of tests is leading to potential scams for a product that doesn’t exist and may lead to people compromising their personal information

This week the FBI had issued a warning about potential fraud related to the antibody test. Scammers are selling unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests, which can give inaccurate results. This is being used as a way to collect people’s personal information such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth. They may also be stealing health insurance or Medicare information that can be used in future scams

One of the most prominent scams is the use of robocalls that send consumers to a website that looks similar to a clinic or medical supply company offering COVID-19 tests. These tests allegedly identify if a person has been infected with coronavirus – even if they’ve recovered. Some even promise results in 10 minutes. However, to receive a test, a credit card or a form needs to be completed with personal information.  How do you avoid this scam and others? The Better Business Bureau provides these tips.

Want a test? Talk to your doctor. Reach out to your healthcare provider. They can help figure out if the test will be covered by insurance and where to find a legitimate clinic.  If you don’t have a primary care physician, check out the official website of your local health department for more information on testing availability.

Research before buying. Scammers put pressure on people to buy or commit without giving them time to do further research. Before agreeing to anything, investigate first. Research any claims the company makes.

Check claims of FDA approval. Per the FBI, “Not all COVID-19 antibody tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their efficacy has not been determined.”

Never share your personal information with strangers. Only make purchases and share your personal information with people and companies you know and trust. Be wary of anyone approaching you in line; ask for credentials if necessary.

Better Business Bureau has additional tips for avoiding scams that can be found here.