GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WOOD) — The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is warning people not to be fooled by fake COVID-19 testing sites reported across the country.
The BBB is investigating several reports of fake testing sites in the US. These scammers take people’s personal information, such as social security numbers, credit card information, and other health information, and use it to steal identities or access financial information.
So far, no fake COVID-19 test sites have been confirmed in West Michigan. However, the BBB urged the community to be vigilant.
“Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they are being scammed until they don’t get the results of their tests. By then the damage is done. Their personal information has been compromised and their testing has been delayed,” said Lisa Frohnapfel, president and CEO of BBB Serving West Michigan. “People should ensure they are tested by a legitimate company, found through a reputable source such as the local health department.”
The BBB suggested a few ways to find a legitimate testing site: First, people can talk to their doctors. Their offices can direct you to an authorized testing site.
Check the website of the local health service. It will list authorized testing sites and pop-up clinics near you. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also has: test site recommendations.
Understand different testing options by reading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s detailed guide to COVID-19 testing.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also reminded people on Monday: beware of fake home test kits that can be found online. She said her office has recently seen an increase in complaints about fake home tests.
“Right now there is a huge demand for home COVID-19 testing, so it’s important to understand that efforts will be made to accommodate that demand. The best way to counter criminal attempts to defraud consumers is to educate yourself about the latest scams,” Nessel said in a statement.
Nessel’s office reminded people to make sure the tests they buy are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and to research the seller online and check reviews before purchasing. You should also pay by credit card so you can dispute the charge if something goes wrong.
If you think you’ve visited a fake COVID-19 testing site, report it bbb.org/scamtracker and the local police. Your reports can help others avoid similar scams.
— Rachel Van Gilder of WOODTV.com contributed to this report.