Make sure your free COVID-19 tests aren’t part of a scam
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have been capitalizing on the crisis. Even now, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Scam Tracker regularly receives reports about pandemic-related scams. Be on the lookout for this still common con: phishing messages about at-home COVID-19 tests.
How this scam works: You receive a call, get a message or spot a social media post. You qualify for free at-home COVID-19 tests provided through your insurance or the government. But qualities are limited, and you need to apply immediately.
However, you need to provide a few basic details so you can receive your tests, delivered straight to your door. The form – or in the case of a phone scam, the caller – asks for your name, contact information and insurance information, including copies of your insurance cards or Medicare number. They might also ask for your credit card number to cover a small delivery fee. If you agree, you’ll be handing your sensitive personal information to scammers. Adding insult to injury, you will never receive your tests. They never existed!
How to avoid similar scams:
- Want a test? Get one through official sources. Speak with your local pharmacist about purchasing a test or visitCOVID.gov/tests to see if your household qualifies for free at-home tests from the government. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration also has a list of authorized at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests you can review.
- Do your research. Scammers might put pressure on you to hand over your personal information, claiming that if you don’t act now, you’ll lose your chance to get free tests. Don’t give in to high-pressure tactics and always do research before you agree to anything. In addition, review this warning from the FDA: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/beware-fraudulent-coronavirus-tests-vaccines-and-treatments?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=this%20warning%C2%A0from%20the%20FDA&utm_campaign=scam-alert
- Understand all your testing options. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a detailed guide to testing for COVID-19. Knowing what tests are available and how to get them will give you the upper hand should you be targeted by a scammer.
- See the full article on BBB.org for more tips.
For more information: BBB has additional tips for avoiding scams at BBB.org/SpotAScam. Read more about fake COVID-19 testing sites (https://www.bbb.org/article/scams/26355-scam-alert-getting-a-covid-19-test-make-sure-its-for-real?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=fake%20COVID-19%20testing%20sites&utm_campaign=scam-alert).