The news is filled with images of long lines at COVID in-person testing sites and reports of limited supplies of home test kits. It’s no surprise that, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, rogue and unauthorized home test kits are popping up online as opportunistic scammers take advantage of increased demand.
Using these fake products isn’t just a waste of money, it increases your risk of spreading COVID-19 unknowingly or not receiving proper treatment. So, if you are shopping online for COVID test kits and related items:
Make sure the test you are buying is cleared by the FDA. Check the FDA’s lists of antigen diagnostic tests and molecular diagnostic tests before purchasing to find tests that are licensed for home use. (US is “emergency use authorization”).
Consult a seller before buying, especially if you are buying from a site you are unfamiliar with. Search online for the name of the website, company, or seller, as well as words like “scam,” “complaint,” or “review.”
Compare online reviews from a wide variety of websites. You can get a good idea about a business, product, or service by reading user reviews on various retail or shopping comparison sites. Think about the source of the review. Ask yourself: Where is this review coming from? Is it from an expert organization or individual clients?
Pay with credit card. If you are charged for an order you never received or for a product other than the one advertised, contact your credit card company and dispute the charge.
Suspect a fraudulent seller or false proof? Report it at: ReportFraud.ftc.gov