How to Avoid Fake COVID-19 Test Kits

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Woman with COVID test
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Scammers never rest, and now they are exploiting folks looking for at-home COVID-19 testing kits.

The Federal Trade Commission warns that fake and unauthorized kits are appearing online at a time when the omicron variant of the coronavirus disease has greatly increased testing demand.

As the FTC warns:

“Using these fake products isn’t just a waste of money, it increases your risk of unknowingly spreading COVID-19 or not getting the appropriate treatment.”

So, the agency is offering a few tips to make sure you don’t fall prey to such scams. They include:

  • Buy tests authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. You will find lists of approved COVID-19 antigen diagnostic tests and molecular diagnostic tests at the FDA website.
  • Don’t buy until you thoroughly check out sellers. The FDA suggests searching for the name of the seller or website plus words like “scam,” “complaint” or “review.”
  • Compare online reviews from several websites. Looking over reviews from several sources can help you get a better sense of a product’s legitimacy. The FTC says, “Think about the source of the review. Ask yourself: Where is this review coming from? Is it from an expert organization or individual customers?”
  • Use a credit card when paying. Credit cards offer better protection if you are charged for an order you never received, or for a product that turns out to be a scam. To learn more about why you should use a credit card when shopping online check out “9 Things You Should Never Put on a Debit Card.”