AG warnings over Covid testing fraud

Oregon Attorney General News Release,

With the growth of the highly contagious Omicron variant and the demand for Covid-19 tests rising throughout Oregon, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum reminded Oregonians to watch for testing sites that seem suspicious, or vendors that are selling at-home tests for sky-high prices.

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) asks Oregonians to report any dubious testing sites or vendors selling at-home tests at inflated prices to the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or www.OregonConsumer.Gov.

“The huge demand for Covid-19 testing of all kinds—at home tests, rapid antigen tests, PCR tests–brings bad actors and some businesses trying to make a quick buck out from the shadows. We see it all the time in moments of desperation like this testing urgency,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “We are keeping a vigilant eye on the marketplace and working with OHA to ensure testing sites are in compliance with state laws.”

Oregonians should be cautious about pop-up testing sites that charge out-of-pocket fees, do not display logos, do not disclose the laboratory performing the test, are not affiliated with a known organization, or that ask for sensitive information, like social security numbers, that is not necessary for insurance. Consumers can locate a testing site through OHA’s testing locator.

Individuals are also selling at-home tests for inflated prices on sites like eBay, Craigslist and NextDoor. The average price for a package of two at-home Covid-19 tests should be around $20.00, so keep a lookout for exorbitant prices. Starting Saturday January 15, private insurers will have to cover the cost of eight at-home tests per member per month.

If you are shopping online for Covid-19 at home test kits, follow these tips from the FDA:

– Make sure the test you’re buying is authorized by the FDA. Check the FDA’s lists of antigen diagnostic tests and molecular diagnostic tests before you buy to find the tests authorized for home use.
– Check out a seller before you buy, especially if you’re buying from a site you don’t know. Search online for the website, company, or seller’s name plus words like “scam” or “complaint.”
– Compare online reviews from a wide variety of websites. You can get a good idea about a company, product, or service from reading user reviews on various retail or shopping comparison sites. Always ask yourself: Where is this review coming from? Expert organizations may be more reliable than individual customers.
– Pay by credit card, and not a money order, prepaid card, or another form of payment that cannot be tracked or disputed.

If you have information about, or think you have been scammed by a Covid-19 testing site, or want to report the price of a Covid-19 at home test being sold for exorbitant prices, please file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice at www.OregonConsumer.Gov or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.

If you have information about fraud associated with a medical provider, please file a complaint with OHA’s Fraud Hotline at 1-888-FRAUD01 (1-888-372-8301) or online.

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