Scammers target vulnerable groups with unreliable at home COVID testing kits

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:39 PM CST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - COVID-19 testing ramped up dramatically during the Omicron surge, but Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies said some bad actors are using the pandemic to scam people.

It’s happening around the country.

“If it appears that they’re requesting things such as your social security number, your driver’s license or your insurance card. You might want to start asking questions,” Director of Communications for the Better Business Bureau, Sandra Guile said.

Scammers targeting vulnerable groups tricking them into buying fake COVID testing kits, that could give unreliable results.

“Anyone offering an appointment in exchange for banking or financial information a social security number or remote access to a consumers computer or device is a scammer,” FL Attorney General, Ashley Mood said in April 2021.

Marion County Sheriff’s Officials said many of the scam attempts are done through unsolicited calls and even individuals going door to door selling at home kits.

“Especially in our highway 200 corridor, ‘hey somebody was telling me I could get a COVID testing kit from them, I could buy it from them,’ and we just tell them hey reach out to the Marion County Health Department and make sure that who you’re talking to is legit,” MCSO Director of Public Relations, Sgt. Paul Bloom said.

Because it could lead to a dangerous situation.

“You would have a quote ‘test result’ that very likely would not be accurate or has a low likelihood of accuracy and then you’re going to use that information to make medical decisions for yourself and potentially that’s not only going to impact you and effect others around you which could potentially be putting them in danger,” Ocala Health Doctor of Hospital Medicine, John Casey Turner said.

So officials said, do your research because it might just save a life.

Please see this important message from our partners at the Florida Department Health: Residents are encouraged to be...

Posted by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, January 20, 2022

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