How to Avoid Buying Fake COVID Tests Online
With concerns over the Covid-19 testing site on Grafton St. growing and their parent company receiving an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau Nancy Cahalen, President/CEO, Better Business Bureau Serving Central & Western MA and Northeastern CT. Nancy spoke with Talk of the Commonwealth with Hank Stolz about How to avoid buying fake COVID tests online as well as concerns over fake sites popping up nationwide.
The news is filled with images of long lines at in-person COVID testing sites and reports of limited supplies of at-home test kits. It’s not a surprise that fake and unauthorized at-home testing kits are popping up online as opportunistic scammers take advantage of the spike in demand.
How the scam works
Robocalls are sent out to consumers directing them to a website that looks like 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.
In some cases, the test involves an easy at-home testing kit. Other times, the tests are allegedly offered through a clinic. But in all versions, the person or website selling the test is short on details. They aren’t willing or able to provide any information about how the test works, where it is sourced, and what laboratory processes it.
Don’t fall for it! These tests are not US Food and Drug Administration approved and will not give accurate results. In fact, requestors may never even receive an actual test kit. Either way, scammers will have made off with the money and personal information.
We have even heard reports of a new twist! Scammers actually showed up at a testing site in Florida and conducted fake tests to the people standing in line, as a trick to get their personal information.