Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert on Thursday, urging Floridians to take precautions with new COVID-19 test scams emerging as the Omicron variant continues to spread.
In a press release, Moody noted that bad actors may be exploiting this demand to steal personal, financial or medical information. There are recent reports in Florida and nationwide of potential fake COVID-19 testing sites, imposter health care workers at legitimate sites and at-home testing scams.
“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, scammers change tactics as news and situations change. With the recent rise in the number of people seeking COVID-19 tests comes an increased risk that scammers will try to take advantage of the demand. Please take precautions to protect your personal information when seeking a test—whether at a legitimate site or when purchasing an at-home test,” Moody said.
With Floridians turning to at-home COVID-19 tests and testing services as long lines continue to plague in-person testing sites, Moody released a set of tips to help verify the legitimacy of the testing products. Some of those guidelines include purchasing products from well-established stores or websites, doing research online for the brand name of the test and any complaints, and not giving out personal information to sign up for an at-home testing service that will not guarantee an appointment time.
The Attorney General’s Office also issued signs that a pop-up testing site may be illegitimate. Some of those signs include having no affiliation with local medical providers or government entities, not delivering test results, and workers or volunteers not wearing masks during interactions with patients.
In addition to at-home test scams, Moody stated that Sarasota law enforcement received reports last week of suspicious individuals impersonating health care workers at a legitimate testing site asking test seekers to provide personal, financial and medical information. She also added there have been recent reports of suspicious COVID-19 testing sites popping up in Illinois.
Scammers are trying to exploit the increased demand for COVID-19 tests.
— AG Ashley Moody (@AGAshleyMoody) January 6, 2022