BBB warns against fake COVID websites and scams

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Scammers are taking advantage of high demand for testing.

After the Biden administration launched a site allowing people to sign up for free at-home COVID-19 tests, scammers launched their own sites.

“Scammers always take advantage of the crisis of the day. Of course, the pandemic has been a reality for them. It gives them an opportunity,” said Sheri Sword, vice president of communications for the Better Business Bureau.

When requesting your tests, the BBB said to be careful of similar websites. To spot a fake website, experts say to look carefully at the domain name. Scammers try to trick you into using a name that is extremely close to the real company or organization.

The government website for free COVID-19 tests only asks for your name and address. A red flag occurs when you are asked to provide credit card information or personal information such as your Social Security number or Medicare card.

“With very little information, a scammer can go into business like you. With just a little bit, they can really ruin you financially, drain bank accounts, skyrocket your credit,” Sword said.

The BBB said one should be careful of unsolicited text messages and emails about the tests and not click on any links they contain. If you do, crooks could download malware onto your computer and steal your information. Also beware of robocalls.

“If they’re calling you, you have to wonder why they’re calling you out of the blue,” Sword said. “If you haven’t asked for it, if you haven’t sought it out, then you just need to be aware and think twice about doing anything.”

If you find you’ve been scammed, report it to the BBB. The information can help others avoid falling for the same scam.

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