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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov and your state Attorney General’s Office.
To learn more about covid-related scams, see ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams.