Buyers beware: How to spot a fake at-home test online

SPOKANE, Wash. — Long lines are continuing at testing sites across the country, and at-home test kits are in limited supply. So it’s no surprise some people go online to buy an at-home test.

The Federal Trade Commission is warning people of scammers trying to take advantage of the demand.

The FTC says using fake products not only wastes your money, but increases your risk of unknowingly spreading the virus.

First, you’ll want to make sure the test you’re buying is FDA authorized. 

You also want to do your research, especially if you’re buying from an unfamiliar site.  Try searching online for the company, or seller’s website along with “scam,” “complaint, ” or “review”.

It’s also a good idea to compare reviews from a wide variety of websites. You can get a feel about a company, product, or service from reading user reviews on various retail or shopping comparison sites.

The FTC says to also think about the source of the review. Ask yourself, is it from an expert organization or individual customers?

You should also buy with a credit card. That way if you get charged and your order never arrives, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company.

The FDA also has a section of their website where you can look at complaints that have been filed on tests and other COVID-related products.

If you suspect a scam seller or fake test, you can report it to the FTC here.

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