The Better Business Bureau is warning people of scammers who are using fake websites that advertise free COVID-19 tests to steal people’s personal information.
U.S. households can now request free at-home COVID-19 test kits through a new Biden administration program. But with that comes scams trying to take advantage of people.
The BBB said fake websites where you request tests may be scam sites that ask for payment or personal information, such as your Social Security number.
The agency said some websites may look official at first glance, and may have the United States Postal Service (USPS) logo, just like the real website It also has a form to request the tests but when someone starts filling out the form, it may ask for as your Social Security number or Medicare ID. It could also request for credit card details, under the guise of needing to pay for shipping.
The BBB said the real website does not ask for payment or your Social Security number.
Here are some tips from the BBB to identify a fake website:
- Look closely at the domain name. One way that fake websites trick people is by using a domain name that is extremely close to a real business’s or organization’s domain name. For example, the real COVID-19 test request website is special.usps.com/testkits. Scammers may swap two letters or make a slight misspelling. If you find a spelling error in the domain name, you’re not on the official site, and it’s best to close the tab.
- Watch out for tricky subdomains. Sometimes attackers hope you will confuse a subdomain with the real domain name. For example, a scammer might use the subdomain name usps.faketestkit.com hoping you won’t notice that “faketestkit.com” is not the correct domain name to get your free test kit, which is usps.com.
- The real website asks only for your name and address. You do not need to pay for the tests using the government program – even for shipping. And you will not be asked for insurance details, your Social Security number or any other sensitive information.
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