With the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus wreaking havoc around the country, many people are desperately trying to get tested and unfortunately, in many places around the country finding a testing site can be difficult, which provides an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of the situation for purposes of luring victims into identity theft. More and more we are seeing pop-up testing sites in parking lots and shopping malls throughout the country and while many of these are legitimate, many of them are not. In St. Louis a Covid testing site in a mall parking lot was asking people to provide their Social Security number which you don’t need to do to get a test. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has warned Baltimore residents to avoid “illegal, unlicensed pop-up COVID-19 testing sites” that collected personal information that could be used for purposes of identity theft.
While there are both federal and state regulations for clinical laboratories, not all of the pop-up testing sites are affiliated with clinical labs and also may not be subject to regulation by state departments of health because they often are not classified as health clinics so even if you go to a ‘legitimate” testing site, you may not be getting dependable results. However, even worse are the scammers who are setting up phony testing sites and asking for personal information they don’t need or charging for tests that should be free.
You don’t need to give your Social Security number to a legitimate testing site so remember my motto – B.S. Be skeptical. Only go to confirmed legitimate testing sites at real clinics and sites that you know are legitimate and don’t give personal information that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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