F.B.I. Warns of Fraudulent Coronavirus Antibody Tests

The F.B.I. has issued a warning about scammers who promote fraudulent Covid-19 antibody exams as a solution to get hold of private info that can be utilized for identification theft or medical insurance coverage fraud.

The warning, issued Friday, is the most recent in a sequence of alerts from the federal authorities about fraudulent exploitation of the coronavirus pandemic.

Scammers are advertising the fake or unapproved tests — which might present false outcomes — on-line, by way of social media or e mail, or in individual or over the telephone, the F.B.I. stated. They might declare that the exams had been authorized by the Meals and Drug Administration, in addition to promote free Covid-19 antibody exams or present incentives for testing.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recommends that these seeking to take an antibody check — which is used to find out whether or not an individual has had the coronavirus — seek the advice of a list of tests and testing firms that the Meals and Drug Administration has authorized. These exams have been evaluated in a research carried out on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being’s most cancers institute or by one other F.D.A. designated authorities company.

Folks must also seek the advice of with their major care doctor earlier than taking any Covid-19 antibody check at dwelling, the F.B.I. says. It additionally warned in opposition to sharing private or well being info with anybody who isn’t a “recognized and trusted medical skilled,” in addition to checking medical payments for suspicious claims and reporting these claims to medical health insurance suppliers.

Among the many strategies fraudulent entrepreneurs use to acquire essential private info is asking folks and telling them that they’re working with the federal government or that authorities officers are requiring them to take a Covid-19 antibody check. They generally additionally provide to carry out the check for money.

The aim is to hunt private information, like an individual’s identify, date of start, Social Safety quantity, Medicare and medical health insurance info. This may later be used for identification theft or medical insurance coverage fraud.

The fraudulent exams, the authorities say, are simply one other means for scammers to capitalize on folks’s worry and uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic.

Final Wednesday, the Federal Commerce Fee warned of scammers pretending to be contact tracers. In early June, the Inner Income Service alerted folks about fraud surrounding government stimulus coronavirus funds.

Again in April, the F.B.I. issued a similar warning associated to Covid-19 testing and scammers seeking to promote false coronavirus cures, therapies and vaccines. Federal officers additionally warned final week about faux playing cards that had been being bought that claimed to exempt folks from sporting face masks.

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