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Want a COVID-19 test? | Don't fall victim to buying fake tests online

The Better Business Bureau says scammers are hosting fraudulent pop up sites and selling fake tests as demand spikes.

SAN ANTONIO — The new year is looking a lot like 2021 as people wait in long lines, and face even longer wait times at COVID - 19 testing sites across San Antonio as Metro Health confirms more than 2,000 positive cases on Wednesday.

On the city's northwest side, people at the Full Spectrum Emergency Room and Urgent Care in The Rim Shopping Center wrapped around the building. Meanwhile, drivers at the COVID testing site in the Goodwill parking lot off of De Zavala had a bit more luck with shorter lines.

Credit: Sarah Duran
Drivers wait in line at COVID testing site off of De Zavala Rd on Wednesday afternoon.

In a matter of days, FEMA will also open testing sites in six Texas counties, including Bexar County. The announcement comes after Governor Greg Abbott requested federally-supported testing sites based on COVID positivity rates and hospitalizations in those respective six counties.

As state and local leaders continue to increase testing availability, the Better Business Bureau is reminding folks that along with the spike for testing comes the opportunity for scammers.

"Locally, we are getting tips here and there, and we are investigating them all at the same time," said Regional Director Jason Meza, of the Better Business Bureau.

Meza said the organization is receiving reports nationwide, statewide and locally about fraudulent pop up sites. Many are acting in a similar fashion to one another, and can look identical to real sites.

"They may be posing as an accredited lab, taking payment, getting personal formation, even communicating with you via email and never giving the results. So you need to call the associated numbers that are there on test sites and ensure the test site is legitimately representing that lab," said Meza.

Buying an at home test kit online? Meza said to take a good minute to look over the information being asked of you. Make sure the test you're buying is authorized by the FDA, check out the seller before you buy, compare online reviews and pay by credit card if you decide to purchase.

"We tell people to use credit cards for payment if payment is offered. Credit cards have the most protection built in freezing accounts, getting money back, disputing the charge. So using a credit card payment will help you in that situation," he said.

Plus, if you see something, say something by reporting your claim to the BBB and Federal Trade Commission. Using an online platform like identity.gov will also help you track to see if your information is being used.

Still don't know what to do? Where to go? Who to trust? Meza's answer is simple.

"Start with your doctor or start with your pharmacy for reputable test sites."

For more information regarding fraudulent testing sites and at home kits, visit the Better Business Bureau online.