OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today sent a letter to Center for Covid Control (CCC) requesting that it provide information substantiating representations and claims CCC has made to potential California customers about its COVID-19 testing services. CCC is an Illinois-based company that, until recently, had its name associated with nearly 300 COVID-19 testing centers nationwide. Today’s letter is part of an investigation into complaints that CCC’s customers did not receive test results within the advertised timeframes, if at all, as well as concerns about the accuracy of the test results given and the collection of protected health information for services that were never provided.
“Today’s letter to Center for Covid Control serves as a warning to all other COVID-19 testing sites operating in the state of California. If you are operating a testing site that is making false claims, failing to provide promised test results, or stealing people’s information, we will hold you accountable,” said Attorney General Bonta. “My office is responsible for keeping individuals safe from false or misleading business practices, and we are committed to doing just that. I encourage anyone who believes they have been scammed by a COVID-19 testing site to report it to my office at oag.ca.gov/report.”
CCC and its affiliated entities have represented themselves as trustworthy operators of COVID-19 testing sites working with laboratories approved and licensed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and registered with the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments program (CLIA). They have also represented that they can produce test results in person “within 15 minutes,” by email “within 3 hours,” and provide “guaranteed results within 48 hours.” Today’s letter requests CCC to provide the Attorney General’s Office with evidence that supports its wide variety of claims pertaining to its COVID-19 testing services, turnaround times for results, and handling of personal information.
Additionally, today’s letter demands that CCC:
The Attorney General is charged with enforcing the state’s consumer protection laws, including the Unfair Competition Law, Business & Professions Code section 17200 (UCL), and the False Advertising Law, Business & Professions Code section 17500 (FAL). The UCL prohibits, among other things, any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business act or practice. The FAL prohibits false or misleading advertising. Under the FAL, the Office of the Attorney General may require any person doing business in California to substantiate any advertising claim, including any claim that: purports to be based on factual, objective, or clinical evidence; compares a product’s effectiveness or safety to that of other brands or products; or purports to be based on any fact.
If you believe that you have been scammed by a fake COVID-19 testing site, you are encouraged to report it to your local police or sheriff’s office and file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at oag.ca.gov/report. To find a testing site near you that is verified to perform COVID-19 testing, use the California Department of Public Health’s test site search tool.
A copy of today’s letter is available here.