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FBI warns of potential fraud schemes with some COVID-19 antibody testing

The bureau says scammers could be seeking individuals’ personal information, as well as medical records, which can be used in future medical insurance or identity theft schemes.

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Video above: What you should know about the antibody test

The FBI sent out a warning Friday saying there is a potential for scammers to market fraudulent COVID-19 antibody tests, which could provide false results, as well as other problems.

The bureau says scammers could be seeking individuals’ personal information, as well as medical records, which can be used in future medical insurance or identity theft schemes.

Researchers have been encouraged to devise testing methods that can be quickly and easily deployed to test large numbers of individuals for COVID-19 antibodies, but not all COVID-19 antibody tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and their efficacy has not been determined, the FBI said.

The bureau is asking Americans to be vigilant for potential fraud in products, including:

  • Claims of FDA approval for antibody testing that cannot be verified.
  • Advertisements for antibody testing through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
  • Marketers offering “free” COVID-19 antibody tests or providing incentives for undergoing testing.
  • Individuals contacting you in person, phone, or email to tell you the government or government officials require you to take a COVID-19 antibody test.
  • Practitioners offering to perform antibody tests for cash.

The FBI says you should check the FDA’s website for an updated list of approved antibody tests and testing companies.

The FBI warning comes after U.S. health regulators announced earlier in June they were cracking down on companies for selling at-home blood tests for coronavirus, warning that the products have not been shown to safely and accurately screen for COVID-19.