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Need a COVID-19 test? Watch out, there’s a scam for that

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 9:19 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you can imagine, scammers have figured out a way to sell unapproved, COVID-19 tests.

And the US Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to fall prey to the fake tests, vaccines, and treatments.

Since the arrival of the Omicron variant, the increase of testing for COVID-19 has become a big concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Scarcity can lead to potential scams for a product that doesn’t exist, the compromise of personally identifiable information, or the increase of deceptive advertising.

Here’s how you can avoid fake coronavirus tests and related scams:

  • 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. Start with searching BBB.org to see they are BBB Accredited, have good reviews, and if there are complaints or scam reports associated with their business name. In addition, review the warnings on FBIFederal Trade CommissionAttorney General’s office, and BBB ScamTracker.
  • Understand all options: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a detailed guide to testing for COVID-19. Understand the different tests available.
  • 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. If you suspect  your personal information has been compromised, report it to identitytheft.gov
  • 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.” Check the FDA website for a list of approved tests and testing companies.

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