As COVID-19 cases increase across Chicago, the Better Business Bureau is warning of fake tests and "pop-up" testing sites.
Scammers tend to offer fraudulent tests consumers can purchase online or suggest fake "pop-up" testing locations -- both of which can steal personal information and money, according to the BBB.
“The skyrocketing number of virus cases is spurring people to get Covid-19 tests, but watch out,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Whether it’s a test you purchase online or a visit to one of those ‘pop-up’ stores offering testing, it might be a sham. Scarcity often leads to potential scams.”
Bernas added that in many cases, consumers will not receive any test result despite providing their credit card number. A person could also receive a fake negative test result, which Bernas warns would give a false sense of security and lead to further COVID spread.
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In some cases, the BBB said consumers have reported robocalls telling them to visit a website that appears to be a clinic or medical supply company offering COVID testing. To receive a test, however, people are asked to provide a credit card or some form of personal information.
The BBB suggested consumers check for validity of tests and testing sites with physicians, pharmacies or on the Illinois Department of Public Health website.
To learn about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authorized tests for home use, visit FDA’s lists of diagnostic tests.
Here's how to avoid COVID scams, according to the BBB:
- Never share personal information with strangers
- Ask questions to the testing provider
- Discuss testing with your doctor
- Research valid tests prior to purchasing