FDA warns about at-home COVID-19 test kit scams

ByBrhe Berry via KTRK logo
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
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Even though it's a difficult time, some are promoting fake at-home testing kits. Here's what to know about those scams.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning the public about unauthorized test kits that may be marketed to test for COVID-19 at home.

Coronavirus-related fraud is already so widespread, the Department of Justice has directed all 94 U.S. attorneys to appoint a coronavirus fraud coordinator for their districts.

In Kentucky, public officials hunted down fake test site scammers who were allegedly charging more than $200 per test.

Earlier this month, the FDA and Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to seven companies advertising products that claim to cure, treat or prevent coronavirus.

The Clear Lake Shores Police Department posted on Facebook that it has not authorized any company to go door-to-door offering to do home screening or testing for COVID-19.

RELATED: LA settles with CA company accused of advertising home COVID-19 test kits without FDA approval

Officials are trying to spread the message that the FDA has not authorized any test available to purchase for testing yourself at home.

They say they see the public health value in expanding the availability of testing and are working with developers for an accurate test that may include home collection.

Another scam to be on the lookout for is fake providers.

The U.S. Attorneys Office says scammers are also contacting people by phone and e-mail, pretending to be doctors or hospitals who have treated a friend or relative for COVID-19 before demanding payment for that treatment.

Just last week, the FTC said it had received more than 7,800 coronavirus-related complaints with consumers reporting losses of $4.77 million.

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