The FBI has issued a warning about criminals marketing fake and unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests, also known as serology testing. Not only are these tests providing inaccurate results and potentially putting people’s health at risk, but they are also being used to collect personal information for identity theft or medical insurance fraud.

COVID-19 antibody or serology tests, which can detect if a person has antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, have played an important role in the fight against the coronavirus. But fraudsters taking advantage of the pandemic are contacting individuals using email, social media, phone calls or in-person, and offering these fake tests for free or with an incentive.

Healthcare providers should be aware of these deceptive schemes and warn patients to be wary of unknown providers offering antibody tests. The FBI recommends that consumers check the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for a list of approved antibody tests and testing companies, consult their doctor before taking any at-home tests and use a lab approved by their health insurance company.

It also cautions people against sharing personal information, such as date of birth, Social Security numbers, and Medicare or private health insurance information, with anyone other than trusted healthcare professionals.

The FDA has also issued warning letters to a number of companies marketing antibody tests. The violations outlined in these letters include selling test kits directly to consumers for use at home without approval from the FDA, falsely labeling products as FDA approved and the unauthorized use of the FDA logo.

These fraudulent tests are just the latest in COVID-19 misinformation and scams, including fake coronavirus cures and impostor contact tracers (those who help identify people who have been in contact with an infected person).

Healthcare professionals and consumers should visit the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program to report fraudulent tests and quality problems.

For information about antibody tests, please visit bit.ly/FDAEUASerologyTesting.

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