Covid-19

FBI Issues Warning Over Fake COVID-19 Antibody Tests Being Sold Online

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning against scammers who are selling fake COVID-19 antibody tests on the internet.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, researchers have been working on making tests that could detect COVID-19 antibodies in people. However, not all of the tests available at present have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As more people are becoming alarmed and overwhelmed by the outbreak, they tend to turn to whatever they could find online to alleviate their anxiety over the situation. And apparently, some people are taking advantage of them, according to WebMD.

According to the FBI, fraudsters have started to sell fake COVID-19 antibody tests online. Aside from getting scammed into buying the fake tests, the law enforcement agency stated that customers could also put their personal information at risk since their names, birthdates and personal health data could be retrieved by the scammers.

The FBI said that once the fraudsters have access to their client’s personal data, they could utilize them in insurance schemes and identity theft.

“Scammers are marketing fraudulent and/or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests, potentially providing false results. In addition, fraudsters are seeking to obtain individuals’ personal information (names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc.) and personal health information, including Medicare and/or private health insurance information, which can be used in future medical insurance or identity theft schemes,” the FBI said in a statement.

The agency stated that people should beware of antibody testing that’s being marketed on social media platforms, emails, phone calls and other platforms. The scammers could trick people by offering free tests or incentives. Others offer the tests in exchange for cash.

The FBI has also warned of scammers who may contact people via email or phone, claiming that they are from the government or they are public health officials who are conducting COVID-19 antibody testing.

The FBI is encouraging everyone to check the FDA’s website for information on approved COVID-19 antibody tests. It also recommends consulting with a doctor or a testing laboratory approved by a health insurer if someone is looking to get tested.

In an event that you or your loved ones feel that you have been victimized by online scammers, the agency said you should contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or directly call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Test Kit A medical staff displays a test kit to detect the novel coronavirus at a COVID-19 screening-drive, at the Amsterdam UMC in Amsterdam The Netherlands, on March 24, 2020. ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

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