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Tips to avoid falling victim to COVID-19 testing scams

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 7:59 AM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs wants you to be on high alert for scammers who are taking advantage of the surge in COVID-19 testing.

If you’re trying to make an appointment online, here’s what you need to know.

First, make sure it’s official. The testing site you go to should either be run by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control or by a licensed laboratory to process your results.

Next, don’t provide more information than is needed. DHEC testing is always free and they will not ask you for copies of your insurance, driver’s license or bank accounts.

Keep in mind, you many need to provide your insurance information if you’re getting a test through your doctor or an urgent care facility. However, stand-alone testing sites should not be asking for that information.

If you are looking to do at home testing, buy only FDA authorized tests. The FDA also has a list of fraudulent COVID-19 products that scammers are trying to sell.

It’s also important to check out the seller and their reviews. Search online for the website, company, or seller’s name plus words like “Scam” or “Complaint.”

You can also review this information through the Better Business Bureau.

Finally, pay by credit card. Companies typically offer extra protection, limiting what you owe if someone steals your information.

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