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Watch out for fake covid tests online

Covid Testing-Two Tests on Red Background gcc029f403_640Scammers and fraudsters are always lurking around, and they’re especially adept at taking the latest happenings and pouncing.

It’s not a surprise then that fake and unauthorized at-home testing kits are popping up online as scammers take advantage of the increase in demand.

In addition to wasting your money, fake tests increase your risk of unknowingly spreading covid-19 or not getting the correct treatment.

If you’re shopping online for covid test kits and related items, Colleen Tressler, attorney for the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Consumer and Business Education, offers the following tips:

  • Make sure the test you’re buying is authorized by the FDA. Check the FDA’s lists of antigen diagnostic tests and molecular diagnostic tests before you buy to find the tests authorized for home use. EUA is “emergency use authorization.”
  • Check out a seller before you buy, especially if you’re buying from a site you don’t know. Search online for the website, company, or seller’s name plus words like “scam,” “complaint,” or “review.”
  • Compare online reviews from a wide variety of websites. You can get a good idea about a company, product, or service from 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 customers?
  • Pay by credit card. If you’re charged for an order you never got, or for a product that’s not as advertised, contact your credit card company and dispute the charge.

If you suspect a scam seller or bogus test, let the FTC know at and your state Attorney General’s Office.

To learn more about covid-related scams, see


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I'm not even sure if I'd trust the ones that can be bought online.


I have recently read about those fraudulent tests and the idea of it is infuriating. Not unexpected, though.


Yes, scammers are always there, looking for the next thing they can swindle people on. Always use caution.

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