COVID-19 Scams

Watch Out for Malicious Websites Offering COVID-19 Test Kits

NBC 7 Responds looked at the warning about a rise in website scams involving COVID test kits

NBC Universal, Inc.

The new government program offering free COVID-19 test kits went live this week. That also meant a rise in people trying to scam or steal your information by impersonating the real website.

"Unfortunately, there are a few fake websites created and they are very similar," said Viridiana Quintana of the Better Business Bureau. "They may even have similar visuals so make sure to double-check that the domain is actually for the USPS."

The BBB says people trying to trick you can be very creative in getting you to send them money or your personal information. One way is by using a domain name that is extremely close to the real one.

The legitimate website is special.USPS.com/testkits, but scammers might change a letter or make a slight misspelling. They also might change the subdomain, so it would use a ".net" or even a ".org" instead of ".com."

The program is also completely free, so if the website is asking for credit card information or other payment you should leave the site immediately.

"If they ask for payment to expedite the order that is a red flag," said Quintana. "The USPS site will not ask for that information."

The USPS site will also not ask for any personal information like Social Security Numbers or insurance information.

If you think you might have fallen for one of these fake websites, act quickly to try and get your money back.

"It's important you take all measures to make sure the transaction doesn't happen," said Quintana. "Hopefully it's not too late when you contact your bank to make sure the payment doesn't get processed."

Remember, a good practice for any online purchases is to use a credit card instead of a debit card. They tend to offer more protection against fraud in case your card information is stolen.

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