Don’t assume every COVID-19 testing site is legit

If you’re looking for a COVID-19 test, you probably know there are few. Unfortunately, scammers love to “help out” when there is a shortage. They created fake and unauthorized home test kits, and they are always at it with fake COVID-19 testing sites.

These fake sites can be difficult to spot. They look real, with legit-looking signs, tents, hazmat suits, and realistic testing. And the damage these fake test sites can cause is very real.

We have heard reports of these sites claiming to have “free trials” but then you are charged later and sometimes never receive the promised test. Fake sites take people’s personal information, including social security numbers, credit card information, and other health information which can be used for identity theft or to increase your credit card bill.

Worse still, they don’t give people the help they need to stay healthy.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for test sites.

  • Get a reference. Go to a place to which you have been referred by your doctor or state Where local the Ministry of Health website. In other words, don’t trust any random test site you see around town.
  • Check the source. Have you heard of a new test site on a neighborhood social media group or email list? This “neighbor” might actually be a scammer. Check if the site is also listed on your state Where local the Ministry of Health website.
  • Not sure if a site is legit? Check with your local police or sheriff’s office. If a legitimate test site has been set up, they should know about it. And, if a fake test site is working, they’ll want to know.

Think you’ve ever been to a fake site? If you have shared your credit card information, plan to contest the accusation.

Spotted a fake COVID-19 testing site? Notify your local police or sheriff’s office. And then tell us to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Amanda J. Marsh