Spot phony COVID-19 antibody tests? Report the distributor to the FBI
(WAFB) - Several federal agencies sounded the alarm on fake COVID-19 antibody tests being marketed and sold to the public.
Federal authorities maintain a growing list of companies flagged for selling unproven treatments and phony preventative products for COVID-19. View the list by clicking the link here.
A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report said phony physical testing sites are arranged with legitimate-looking signs, tents, hazmat suits, and realistic-looking tests. Read more about how to spot those sites by clicking the link here.
The FBI published an alert saying it’s important to report these types of schemes immediately to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline by calling (866) 720-5721 or clicking the link here.
According to the FBI, researchers have been encouraged to quickly produce testing methods as efforts are taken to return the economy to its pre-pandemic state as soon as possible.
Those tests, however, in some cases go to market without the benefit of federal inspection and approval.
Among the consequences are tests that provide false results.
The FBI gave the following reminders for spotting red flags in any antibody tests:
- Claims of FDA approval for antibody testing that cannot be verified
- Advertisements for antibody testing through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources
- Marketers offering “free” COVID-19 antibody tests or providing incentives for undergoing testing
- Individuals contacting you in person, phone, or email to tell you the government or government officials require you to take a COVID-19 antibody test
- Practitioners offering to perform antibody tests for cash
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
- Not sharing your personal or health information to anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals
- Checking your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider
- Following guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals
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