FORT WANYE, Ind. (WANE) — The high demand for COVID-19 tests has led to scammers setting up fake testing sites to steal people’s information, according to the Better Business Bureau.
They’re warning people to check the validity of a testing site or company offering to send you at-home tests before you hand out your personal information.
“Some of these scam sites are requesting your credit card information and other personal, identifiable information – so, security numbers, driver’s license numbers, things like that,” President and CEO of BBB Serving Northern Indiana Rick Walz said. “Until you are 100 percent sure that the site is legit and that the information they’re requesting is reasonable, don’t give out any information.”
One company the BBB is looking into: Center for Covid Control.
The company’s website advertises more than 275 free testing sites across the country, including a location in Fort Wayne at Coliseum Blvd. and Delaware Ave.
Two weeks ago, WANE 15 alerted BBB of Northern Indiana to the site and national news stories about the company, which prompted an investigation.
BBB of Northern Indiana says it has received a written complaint about the Center for COVID Control in Fort Wayne and is forwarding its file on the company to Chicago’s BBB, which is heading the investigation.
WANE 15 has learned the BBB has processed 41 complaints about the company across 14 states.
A CBS News report indicates the FBI is now also looking into the company.
Center for COVID Control’s website claims the company’s operations are “paused” despite advertising they would reopen on Saturday, January 22.
WANE 15 reached out to the company for comment, but had not heard back at the time of this report.
Meanwhile, Rick Walz says the BBB is also looking at other private companies in northern Indiana with similar names.
He said the problem is that small shops and their websites can make themselves look legit even though they are a scam.
“That’s the thing with scams of all types right now, these companies, they spoof legitimate sites and they look like another company whose name you would recognize or a federal agency whose name you would recognize. So, you really have to be careful, and that’s why we recommend using the resources out there,” Walz said.
The BBB suggests consulting with your doctor and local health department if you need a COVID test.
You can find a database with all of the COVID testing sites in Indiana here.
They also suggest visiting BBB.org to make sure a company you’re considering is BBB Accredited. You can also use the BBB Scam Tracker.
Other resources include: The FBI, Federal Trade Commission, your state’s Attorney General’s office, and the FDA’s website to make sure the testing center you go to uses tests approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.
If you suspect your personal information has been compromised, you can report it to identitytheft.gov.