Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Middle TN and Southern KY warning about a new way con artists may try to take advantage of COVID-19. First, it was fake masks, then fake government grants, and now BBB’s have seen fake COVID-19 test pop ups.
“We have only gotten reports of fake websites and text messages promising tests for individuals here,” says Robyn Householder, President and CEO, BBB Middle TN and Southern KY. “However, in Louisville, city officials found a string of fake drive through testing sites operating. We, along with law enforcement agencies, are on high alert for similar scams in our region.”
BBB experts say that there is potential for similar operations to appear in Tennessee. With the recent announcement by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, offering free drive-through testing for COVID-19 to any Tennessean, BBB is now on high alert for fake drive through testing.
“Do not hesitate to get tested if you feel sick. However, this is free, and if someone says you have to pay, contact your local law enforcement immediately,” says Householder.
BBB recommends everyone double-check with the TN Department of Health website and your trusted local news provider before going to a testing site.
Tips to Spot a COVID-19 Testing Scam:
- The Tennessee Drive-Through Test is Free. The Tennessee Department of Health drive through testing, and any state testing site is free. It is a giant red flag if anyone asks for you to pay for this testing.
- Government agencies do not typically communicate through text messages.
If you think your text message is real, be sure it’s directing to a web address like “agency.gov” or “agency.ca,” not “agency.otherwebsite.com.”
- Check for look-alikes. Be sure to do your research and see if a government agency or organization actually exists. Find contact info on your own and call them to be sure the person you’ve heard from is legitimate.
For more information about scams in the wake of coronavirus, see BBB.org/Coronavirus.