Scam warnings as people order COVID tests on new website

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COLORADO SPRINGS – You can now order free COVID tests to send to your home through the government’s website covidtests.gov, but knowing this is a website that will be viewed by people nationwide, fraudsters are already launching attacks. News5 shares information about the consumer warning.

If you take anything away from this report, please keep this in mind that no one will call, text or email you from the federal government asking for your information to help you order COVID tests. free. These are the primary means through which fraudsters will attempt to launch their fraudulent attacks.

Ordering tests through covidtests.gov is completely free. There are no shipping charges and you don’t have to provide a credit card number or bank account. All you need to do is give a name and an address.

But Dr. Fraud, J. Michael Skiba, of Colorado State University Global, says impostor websites are created by scammers who hope you land on their webpages and give them payment details and sensitive information. . He says it’s crucial that consumers know the difference.

“So this site. This .gov site is legit and it’s more credible than .com or .net which are pretty much open source. People can buy these domain names. So make sure as a consumer that you go to gov,” Skiba said. “They’re not going to ask for any type of personal information like a date of birth or a social security number. So if you’re on a site that asks for this information, it’s absolutely a scam.”

Dr. Fraud says impostor scams like this cost consumers an average of $1.2 billion a year.

The Federal Trade Commission has already issued a warning to consumers, and fraud experts say they need people to take the time to report fraudulent attacks to better understand the threat.

“Fraud professionals like myself and law enforcement and other agencies, we use this information to allocate resources, so it would be interesting to know if certain parts of Colorado are more targeted than others. others. It would be interesting to know if some states are being targeted more than others. So definitely report it,” Skiba said.

Experts say you should report any of these impostor scams you identify to both Stop Fraud Colorado and the Federal Trade Commission.

Here’s some information from the FTC to help you avoid buying a “fake” COVID test online: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2022/01/how-avoid-buying-fake-covid -tests- online

The Biden administration is launching a hotline on Friday for people to order free Covid-19 tests, a senior White House policy adviser said, expanding availability to people who may not have internet access.

The hotline is expected to go live at 8 a.m. ET, and households can call 800-232-0233 to request up to four free tests. It will complement the federally-run COVIDtests.gov website, which launched Tuesday and is intended to provide better access to testing for communities that have had higher coronavirus infection rates than the rest of the country.


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