COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — If you’re looking for a COVID-19 test in a hurry, scammers are looking for you.
With appointments at testing sites booked solid and pharmacy shelves picked clean of at-home test kits, Judy Dollison, president of the Better Business Bureau, said the high demand creates the perfect opportunity for con artists to strike.
Dollison said one racket comes in the form of phony test kits.
“You get a phone call or an email that directs you to a website that looks like a legitimate site — may be a clinic or a medical supply company, and that they’re offering a COVID test,” she said, pointing out that you might actually get something in the mail if you place an order. “But it’s probably not an FDA-approved test, and therefore the results are unreliable. Or more than likely, they won’t receive a test at all.”
Then, there are the questionable COVID-19 test sites.
“They are taking your information, and maybe even giving you a test, but they’re finding the tests maybe in a dumpster around the corner,” Dollison said.
In both scams, victims might be asked for payment via credit card. Others, Dollison said, might ask for more personal information.
“All of those things can be used for identity theft later on,” she said.
The BBB’s Scam Tracker shows no reports of COVID testing scams in central Ohio. However, one report filed Monday in Cincinnati describes a pop-up test site asking people to upload photos of their driver’s licenses.
“We typically see one market or one city that has a scam starting, and it just explodes across the country,” Dollison said.
If you think you might be the victim of a COVID-19 test scam, let NBC4 Investigates know by sending us a tip here.