Not every COVID-19 testing site is legitimate, consumer expert warns

Here are some red flags to watch out for.
Scammers are capitalizing on the high demand for coronavirus tests, according to a consumer expert.
Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 9:50 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Scammers are capitalizing on the high demand for coronavirus tests, according to a consumer expert.

Tiffany Schultz, regional director of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin (BBB), said reports of fraudulent testing sites have been found in Florida, California and Kentucky.

“You really need to know who’s operating that testing site before you give them your personal information,” she said.

Amanda Beckler from Verona reached out to NBC15 with concerns that her experience getting tested could have been illegitimate.

Beckler said she went to a testing site in the west side of Madison after discovering it online. At registration, she said she uploaded a photo of her driver’s license.

After employees conducted a cheek swab, Beckler said she got results in less than five minutes.

“My primary concern is I don’t know where I’ve uploaded my driver’s license information to, and I don’t know what somebody can do with that kind of information,” Beckler said. “I don’t know if that’s expected... to give that kind of information to do a COVID test, but I’ve never had to do that before.”

According to Schultz, the BBB is looking into this business and has yet to conclude whether it is fraudulent.

Schultz advises consumers to “do your homework,” starting with an online search of the testing site and who operates it.

“Are there spelling errors and grammatical errors on the website? That’s usually a big red flag,” she said. “Are they looking for information that other testing sites aren’t requiring from you? What type of form are you having to fill out? Call their phone number? Are they answering the phone?”

Consumers can also see what other people or agencies have to say about the business. Schultz recommends searching the company name, followed by the word “scam” or “customer review.”

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