March 28, 2024

As new COVID-19 cases hit record levels due to the exponential spread of the omicron variant, demand for virus testing and at-home testing kits has also skyrocketed.

Some stores have even placed caps on the number of at-home COVID-19 tests people can purchase. And with such demand also comes scammers looking to take advantage of the situation, according to officials.

The Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General all issued related statements this week about fake and unauthorized at-home COVID-19 testing kits being sold online and other related schemes.

Criminals end up stealing the victim’s money and personal information, the BBB warned, a nonprofit that works to improve marketplace trust. In some cases, scammers have appeared at testing sites and conducted fake COVID-19 tests on people standing in line “as a ruse to get their personal information.”

“Scarcity often leads to potential scams for a product that doesn’t exist, the compromise of personal identifiable information, or the increase of deceptive advertising,” the BBB said in an alert. 

In one scam, officials with the organization warned of robocalls that are sent…

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