COVID-19 scams: How to prevent buying fake COVID tests

With COVID-19 tests in short availability, people may be heading to the internet to search where to buy one online. But buying an at-home testing kit from someone you don’t know, could pose a risk.

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The Federal Trade Commission recently offered tips on how to make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam.

  • Make sure the test is FDA-authorized. You can check the list of approved tests, either antigen or molecular versions, on the FDA’s website.
  • Check out the seller. Search the seller’s name and words like “scam,” “complaint” or “review.”
  • Take a look at online reviews from multiple sources. Consider who wrote the reviews.
  • Use a credit card to purchase. You can dispute the charge if either the tests never arrive or they are not as advertised.

Not only can you lose money with a fake COVID-19 test, they may also not work and could allow you to unknowingly spread the coronavirus, the FTC said.

If you do find a scam or get a fake test, the FTC wants you to report it on ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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