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Consumer Alert: COVID-19 at-home testing scam

New York State Division of Consumer Protection is warning of scam websites claiming to offer COVID tests.

NEW YORK — The New York State Division of Consumer Protection issued an alert on Tuesday about an at-home testing scam.

It says scammers could be taking advantage of the government program that mails out the free COVID-19 test kits, to try to steal personal information from people trying to place an order.

“The arrival of the COVID-19 free at home tests is one more tool in the fight to end this brutal pandemic, but unfortunately, it also creates new opportunities for unscrupulous scammers to attempt to lure people into unintentionally providing their personal information,” said Acting Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. 

“As the free at-home test program is rolled out, New Yorkers can thwart the scammers by keeping their personal, financial and health information safe and questioning any requests for a social security number, credit card, health insurance or other personally identifiable information from anyone not affiliated with a trusted health or government entity.”

The state says, the only place you can get your government issued COVID test is from the website covidtests.gov. The site was launched last week.

If a website offering free tests does not end in ".gov" it could be a scam.

Criminals may also target people through spam emails and robocalls.

"The availability of free COVID-19 test kits from the federal government will help millions of Americans to have multiple tests on-hand as we continue to monitor and navigate the winter surge," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. 

"I urge New Yorkers to be vigilant in safeguarding their identity while they are protecting their health and always verify that a source is legitimate before providing personal information."