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FBI warns of fake COVID-19 antibody tests seeking personal information for identity theft

Covid-19 antibody tests
Posted at 5:13 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 19:21:05-04

CLEVELAND — The FBI has issued a warning about fraudulent COVID-19 antibody tests.

Real COVID-19 antibody tests indicate whether or not a person was previously infected with the virus; the FBI warns the false tests are a way for scammers to steal your personal information from people who take fake tests.

"These fraudsters are taking advantage of the COVID situation," said FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson, adding that scammers are also looking for insurance information which can be used later for identity theft or medical insurance fraud.

The warning is the latest from the federal government about fraud surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

"The ones coming across social media or email, phone calls are not legitimate; those are probably a scam," Anderson said. "They might not ask you for money right away but you may end up being a victim of identity theft."

"These scammers are coming at us from all angles," said Sue McConnell, President Cleveland Better Business Bureau.

The COVID-19 antibody test scam is just one of several the BBB deals with daily. There are PPE scams, phony grant scams, job scams, all connected to this pandemic.

"Make no quick decisions. Be aware these scam artists are out there trying to get to us from all angles. Make an informed decision," said McConnell.

The FBI recommends those looking to take an antibody test consult a list of tests and testing companies approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any at-home antibody tests. Use a known laboratory approved by your health insurance company to provide the antibody testing. Don't share your health information with anyone other than trusted medical professionals. Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims. Follow recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, report it to National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline or the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a form to the FBI.

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