Health department warns about fake pop-up COVID-19 testing sites

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — As the demand for COVID-19 testing continues across central Florida, pop-up roadside sites and people going door-to-door offering tests are becoming more prevalent.

But one local health department said not all of those tests are legitimate.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

The Osceola County Health Department said it’s seeing fraudulent COVID-19 test sites popping up across the county.

Officials said they’re taking multiple calls each day about these potentially fake tests.

READ: Tired of long lines? These private facilities are offering COVID-19 testing by appointment

Jeremy Lanier with the Osceola County Department of Health said people, many from out of state and even out of the country, are seeing the testing sites and going through the same motions they would at a county site.

Typically, Lanier said they’re paying cash.

READ: Coronavirus: Thousands held on cruise ship after COVID-19 scare

“We’ve heard of tests in the range of $175,” he said.

But many times, the test results never come. Lanier said the best advice they have right now is to ask what laboratory is associated with the pop-up testing site and make sure you have a contact number for them.

He said they’re also fielding calls about people going door-to-door selling at-home COVID-19 testing kits.

READ: Here’s where you can find COVID-19 testing in Central Florida

The health department says not every pop-up site is fraudulent. But if you suspect fraud or worry you’ve been scammed, you can report it online.

Complaints about fraudulent activity related to COVID-19 testing can be reported to the State of Florida Attorney General at MyFloridaLegal.com or call 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226).

READ: Too many faculty COVID-19 cases could shut down schools, Orange County school board chair says

Complaints regarding laboratories associated with COVID-19 testing sites can be reported to the Agency for Health Care Administration by emailing CAU@AHCA.MyFlorida.com.

If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General at TIPS.HHS.GOV or call 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447- 8477).

If you suspect illegal activity relating to Food and Drug Administration-regulated products, including fraudulent COVID-19 treatments, vaccines and tests, report it to the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations by clicking here.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.