Watch Out for Faux COVID-19 Testing Websites


Illustration for article titled Watch Out for Fake COVID-19 Testing Sites

Photograph: Syda Productions (Shutterstock)

Don’t fall for the faux drive-through coronavirus testing websites which were cropping up in latest weeks. Sure, that’s proper—based on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers are dressing up like medical professionals and conducting faux, unsanitary exams for cash and identification theft, whereas presumably spreading the virus.

Per the FTC:

The faux websites can look actual, with legitimate-looking indicators, tents, hazmat fits, and realistic-looking exams… Along with working off with harmless folks’s info, these locations are inflicting health-related points. They aren’t following sanitation protocols, to allow them to unfold the virus. Worst of all, they’re not giving folks the assistance they should keep wholesome.

Studies about such websites have emerged in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, and Washington state, per AARP. Sometimes they cost money ($240 in a single occasion) for this bogus check, and so they’ll attempt to steal your social safety, Medicare, Medicaid, and bank card info for identification theft functions, as effectively.

Easy methods to spot a faux testing website

Scammers would possibly look respectable at first look, however take a re-examination: the clothes shall be inconsistent, because the scammers would possibly put on painter’s coveralls or lab coats as an alternative of respectable private protecting gear. Have a look at the identify tags, too—in one case, reported by the New York Times, the scammer wore a lanyard with phony ID for “HIPPA,” a misspelled acronym for the federal legislation that restricts how well being information will be shared.

Worse but, these are unscrupulous fraudsters, so well being protocols like altering gloves between exams are probably not being adopted. Since these are fly-by-night operations, they are usually small—perhaps a couple of vehicles and tents that may be packed up and moved shortly earlier than police catch on to the rip-off.

If you happen to’re anxious about whether or not a close-by testing website is respectable, verify your state or local well being division’s web site first. If you happen to suppose a website is faux, report it at ftc.gov/complaint.



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