How to Spot a Fake At-home COVID Test

The current COVID-19 surge has made it difficult to find home testing kits in stores and online. As a result, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have seen an increase in reports of fake tests being sold online.

Unknowingly purchasing and using a fake test isn’t just a waste of money, it also increases the risk of spreading COVID-19. It could also mean not getting the appropriate care for an illness. Here are some steps you can take to avoid fakes:

  • Only buy authorized tests. Check the FDA lists for authorized antigen tests or molecular tests. The FDA also has a list of fraudulent coronavirus disease products on its website. Check these before you buy.

  • Buy from a trusted seller. Major pharmacies and retail stores sell tests online. If using Amazon, always look at the seller of the test. If it seems off, best to look elsewhere.
  • Research unfamiliar sellers. Read the seller’s reviews. Or perform an online search for the seller’s name and words like “scam,” “complaint” or “fake” to spot any red flags.
  • Use a credit card to purchase. If purchasing from an unfamiliar seller, use a credit card. This way, if you receive a fake test or don’t receive the package, you can dispute the charge with the credit card company.