OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued an alert warning Californians to beware of fake COVID-19 testing locations and websites. With an increased demand for COVID-19 testing due to the recent spike in cases, scammers are exploiting vulnerable individuals looking to determine whether they have the COVID-19 virus. These unverified sites pose as legitimate companies and healthcare clinics offering COVID-19 testing. However, after receiving payment for a COVID-19 test, these fake testing sites oftentimes fail to provide their patients with their test results. These sites may also ask for a patient’s personal identifiable information with the intention of committing fraud. In today’s alert, Attorney General Bonta shares tips on how to avoid testing site scams, as well as how to search and locate legitimate, verified testing sites.
“Throughout California, fake testing sites are sprouting up to exploit families and individuals seeking COVID tests. It is important to recognize the signs of sham testing sites to protect both your money and personal information,” said Attorney General Bonta. “I urge Californians to do their part to avoid fake testing sites by utilizing state resources, including the California Department of Public Health’s website, to find a verified COVID-19 testing site.”
Tips to Avoid COVID-19 Testing Site Scams
Do your part to avoid fake COVID-19 testing sites by utilizing the following tips:
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.
Free COVID-19 Test Kits
This month, the federal government announced the launch of a new federal resource where individuals can get free FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 test kits.
Visit COVIDtests.gov, or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to order free COVID test kits from the federal government. When placing an order online, you will be redirected to the United States Post Office website to fill out an order form. The form only requires you to provide your first and last name, shipping address, and an optional email. Remember that no one from the federal government will call, text, or email you to ask for additional information to help you with your order. If someone reaches out asking for additional information such as your credit card information or Social Security number, do not respond – it is a scam.