PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Scammers have found another way to run schemes on people during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the FBI, scammers are selling fake and or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests, which can potentially provide phony or faulty results.
Supervisory Special Agent Matt Solomon with the Pittsburgh FBI said they haven’t seen the bogus tests in this area, but they are on the lookout.
Solomon said if the scheme is done right, the fake tests can look identical to the ones found at the doctor’s office, with results as fake as a sugar pill, leaving people with no legitimate answer as to whether or not they have coronavirus.
“The FBI believes this is a significant risk to the public, and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect the public,” said Solomon.
The FBI said the tests often claim to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but have no credible verification.
The bogus tests are often advertised on social media, through email and by phone.
“This is another attempt by fraudsters to take advantage of people’s fears and capitalize on those fears for profit,” Solomon told KDKA.
But money isn’t all scammers are after.
“Fraudsters are also after your personal information. That could be date of birth, name, address, social security information, as well as your personal health information,” said Solomon.
Scammers selling the tests may also ask for Medicare and health insurance information, which can be sold for profit or used in other schemes, according to the FBI.
“Scammers submit claims to insurance providers and just collect the money with no services provided,” said Solomon.
Before getting an antibody test, the FBI recommends:
- Checking the FDA’s website for an updated list of approved antibody tests and testing companies.
- Consulting your primary care physician before undergoing any at-home antibody tests.
- Using a known laboratory approved by your health insurance company to provide the antibody testing.
If you believe you have fallen victim to a COVID-19 fraud scheme, click here for the FBI’s website.