Scammers selling fake COVID tests: How to spot them

B.R. Shenoy
COVID-19 home testB.R. Shenoy

“You will risk unknowingly spreading COVID-19 or not getting treated appropriately if you use an unauthorized test,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States rises, so does the number of fake COVID-19 test kits available online. It is all too easy to fall victim to con artists and purchase a bogus test online due to the scarcity and rising cost of these self-tests.

Tips for Avoiding Purchasing Fake COVID tests

With the above in mind, consider the following tips The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have for avoiding fake at-home COVID test kits when purchasing them online:

  1. Only buy antigen tests (rapid tests) and authorized molecular tests (PCR tests) that the FDA has approved on their website. The FDA website includes a catalog of all the known fakes on the market.
  2. The FDA also strongly recommends consumers do their homework and search online for the company’s name along with the words “scam,” “complaint,” or “review.”
  3. To guarantee that consumers get reliable and balanced information, they should evaluate online reviews from numerous sources.
  4.  It is preferable to pay by credit card. It protects customers if an order does not arrive or the product is not advertised. They can then contest the charge.
  5. Inform the FTC about shady sellers or fake tests.

Final Thoughts

People who are experiencing symptoms or believe they have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 must test themselves as soon as possible.

Coronovirus self-tests can be used anywhere, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms, and help to reduce COVID spread. Unfortunately, there will be a demand for these home tests as long as the pandemic continues.

Finally, remember that COVID-19 vaccines are free and are available only at federal and state-approved locations.

A version of this story originally appeared on Medium.

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Freelance Digital Content Creator. I cover a diverse range of topics including scientific research, health, human interest, news, travel, consumer protection updates, and more.

Houston, TX

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