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With the uptick of Covid-19 cases, the demand for at home Covid tests has increased. With this need for tests, fraudsters have seized the opportunity to create a new scam. When searching and purchasing Covid test kits online, consumers must now be on the look out for fraudulent products. According to the Federal Trade Commission, using fake tests “isn’t just a waste of money, it increases your risk of unknowingly spreading Covid-19 or not getting the appropriate treatment”.

There are a few tricks being used by scammers that you can watch out for. Scam artists are sending text messages, cold calling, emailing or even making home visits claiming to be from charities or government representatives who have Covid testing supplies. Scammers will ask for personal details like Medicare information or Social Security numbers, which are not necessary for purchasing at-home tests.

Beyond knowing what signs to look for in Covid scams, there are a few steps to take to protect yourself from purchasing a fake Covid test online.

  1. Make sure that you are buying an FDA authorized test
  2. Do your research
  3. Pay with your credit card

To make sure that the test you are purchasing is FDA approved, see if it is on the FDA’s lists of approved antigen diagnostic tests or their list for molecular diagnostic tests.

Second, making sure to research the seller of the test is an important step to ensure that you are purchasing a legitimate Covid test. By looking up the seller’s name along with words like scam, complaint, review and fraud, you are double checking to make sure the seller doesn’t have a history of scamming and is a legitimate Covid-19 test distributor. Don’t forget to check the reviews for the product on multiple websites. Seeing if others have had issues with the seller or product in the past can help to identify the real from fake products.

Lastly, paying with your credit card makes it easier for you to get money back in case you never receive your product or the product you purchased was falsely advertised (like a fake Covid test). If you do happen to buy a fraudulent test, simply contact your credit card provider and dispute the charge.

If you are questioning if you have previously purchased a fraudulent COVID test kit, you can check out your product against the FDA’s fraudulent COVID-19 products list. Also Make sure to report Covid-19 and any other scams to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.


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