Scammers scheduling fake COVID tests to steal personal info

BBB warns of testing scam

The Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C. warns that scammers are targeting people looking to book COVID-19 tests.

CTV News reports British Columbians who recently received an unsolicited phone call, email or text message offering to help them book a COVID-19 test might want to confirm their appointment actually exists.

Access to PCR and rapid tests have been limited in the province and the BBB says scammers are making phone calls, texting and sending emails trying to access your personal information.

That information can include anything from names to birthdays to personal health numbers.

"In most cases, consumers will receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a medical professional or public health employee, asking you to make a COVID-19 test appointment," the BBB said in a news release.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has received reports of similar incidents.

The BBB highlighted one case where a woman found a fake travel agency online and called the phone number hoping to get information on testing. "They proceeded to tell her that for them to write her an emergency note to allow her to travel and take a COVID-19 test, she would be required to send payment via Google gift cards," the BBB said.

Those seeking a private test should only do so at an authorized clinic.

Information on collection centres and authorized clinics is available on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website or through Interior Health.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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