Florida Attorney General warns Floridians about COVID testing scam
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office issued a consumer alert warning Floridians about a new COVID-19 test scam. The release was sent just as cases linked to the new Omicron variant increased across the country. With the rise in testing, scammers reportedly are using this as an opportunity to steal personal, financial and medical information.
Moody is asking Floridians to remain cautious when requesting a test — both at home and at testing sites.
“Please take precautions to protect your personal information when seeking a test—whether at a legitimate site or when purchasing an at-home test,” said Moody.
Demands for COVID-19 testing have soared causing long lines at testing sites, causing many Floridians to seek at-home testing for convenience. Before purchasing a test, follow these steps to verify its’ legitimacy:
- Only purchase products from a well-established, legitimate store or website
- Search online for the brand name of the test and any complaints
- Beware of private companies that offer free or reduced cost at-home testing services, particularly if those companies require private information to make an appointment
- Watch out for private companies that require personal information to sign up for an at-home testing service but will not guarantee an appointment
The attorney general’s office has also become aware of random and suspicious testing sites popping up across the country. In Central Florida, law enforcement officers received reports of suspicious individuals impersonating health care workers at testing sites. To ensure your local testing site is legitimate, look for these signs and ask these questions:
- Are they dressed the same as the other health care workers on-site?
- Are they interacting with test seekers within the established test-site area?
- Can they accurately and correctly answer questions without seeming nervous or confused?
- Do they pressure test seekers for personal or financial information?
- Are health care guidelines and standards being followed?
- Having no affiliation with local medical providers or government entities
- Not delivering test results;· Workers seeming uninformed about the testing process
- Volunteers that are unmasked or not following current Center for Disease Control and Prevention point-of-care guidelines and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standards during interactions with patients
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