Federal Trade Commission Warns of Fake Coronavirus Testing Sites

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning the public of fake coronavirus testing sites.

According to a report by Ari Lazarus, a Consumer Education Specialist of the FTC, scammers are setting up fake COVID-19 testing sites to “cash in on the crisis.”

“The fake sites can look real, with legitimate-looking signs, tents, hazmat suits, and realistic-looking tests,” said Lazarus. “And the damage these fake testing sites can cause is very real.”

Lazarus warns that fake COVID-19 testing sites aren’t following sanitation protocols, which could cause further spread of coronavirus.

Another threat posed by the fake testing sites, is theft of information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card information, and other health information – all of which can be used for identity theft and to run up your credit card bill.

Here Are a Few Things the FTC Says to Keep in Mind When Looking Into Testing Sites:

  • If you think you should get tested, ask your doctor.
    • Some people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. They may not need to be tested, according to the CDC. Not sure if you need to get tested? Try the CDC’s self-checker.
  • Get a referral.
    • Testing sites are showing up in parking lots and other places you wouldn’t expect to get a lab test. Some of these are legit – and some are not. The best way to know is to go somewhere you have been referred to by your doctor or state or local health department’s website. In other words, don’t trust a random testing site you see on the side of the road.
  • Not sure if a site is legit?
    • Check with your local police or sheriff’s office. If a legitimate testing site has been set up, they should know about it. And, if a fake testing site is operating, they’ll want to know.

If you have found a fake COVID-19 testing site, you can report it on the FTC’s website.



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