scam alert

‘Do a Little Research Before Buying': Authorities Warn About Antibody Test Kit Scams


The FBI is warning about a scam involving fake antibody testing kits that seems to be getting worse. NBC6 anchor Sheli Muñiz spoke to the Better Business Bureau’s Director of Communications for Southeast Florida and the Caribbean, Cinthya Lavin, about the scam and how you can prevent yourself from falling for it.

The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

SHELI: Tell us about the warning that the FBI put out regarding these antibody testing scams.

LAVIN: This is something that initially happened back in May, but it's only gotten bigger so, of course, the FBI felt the need to put out a bigger warning regarding the Covid testing kits. 

SHELI: What are some of the red flags? What should we be looking out for?

LAVIN: Really, what scammers are looking to do is just gather financial information, so they're going to call or have a robo-call contact you and ask you for personal information and your credit card if you're interested in receiving an at-home test kit.

Sheli: So, these are only at-home test kits or could we see scams physically going somewhere to get an antibody test?

LAVIN: It's mostly at-home test kits, and they’re going to contact people maybe through social media ads. Also, if you see an ad that advertises an at-home test kit that you can get results really quick, in 10 minutes, that's definitely a red flag.

SHELI: They’re trying to steal your information, your personal information. What advice can you give?

LAVIN: Really, what we advise people to do is to do a little bit of research before buying any of these kits. Some of these kits being advertised are not USDA approved. The USDA website and the CDC have a list of the approved testing kits of the areas where people can just get tested by their area, by their city. So just do a little bit of research beforehand and don't fall for (a fake test), because these things are not approved, they're not widely publicized, and scammers are just trying to take advantage of the panic and the concern that the public has.

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