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How to avoid buying fake COVID-19 tests

Consumer protection companies say these scams can increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission as well as cause improper treatment.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Federal Bureau of Investigations sent out a warning back in June 2020 when fake COVID-19 test scams began to arise. The scamming is still going on almost two years later.

Consumer protection agencies and nonprofits are warning people of these scams as the demand for COVID-19 testing is becoming greater amid the increased spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and a greater desire to gather.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says before you buy a test, make sure it's authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA has a full list of antigen and molecular (or PCR) COVID-19 tests that are authorized for emergency use on their website.

The Better Business Bureau national nonprofit is reminding consumers to consult with their doctor if they want a test and research before they buy one online.

The nonprofit also reminds customers to never share their personal information with strangers as many scammers will try to receive credit card and social security information. 

If you run into a test product and are thinking of buying it, the FTC says to first check more information about the seller, especially their reviews. Look for words such as "scam," or "complaint," and compare these reviews to other websites as well to see who else has experienced business with the seller.

The key point here is to do your research, and to be careful with your information when making purchases, especially those impacting your health. 

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