F.B.I. Warns of Fraudulent Coronavirus Antibody Tests

The F.B.I. has issued a warning about scammers who promote fraudulent Covid-19 antibody assessments as strategy to receive private data that can be utilized for id theft or medical insurance coverage fraud.The warning, issued Friday, is the most recent in a sequence of alerts from the federal authorities about fraudulent exploitation of the coronavirus pandemic.Scammers are promoting the faux or unapproved assessments — which might present false outcomes — on-line, by social media or e mail, or in particular person or over the cellphone, the F.B.I. mentioned. They might declare that the assessments had been permitted by the Meals and Drug Administration, in addition to promote free Covid-19 antibody assessments or present incentives for testing.The Federal Bureau of Investigation recommends that these seeking to take an antibody take a look at — which is used to find out whether or not an individual has had the coronavirus — seek the advice of a listing of assessments and testing firms that the Meals and Drug Administration has permitted. These assessments have been evaluated in a examine carried out on the Nationwide Institutes of Well being’s most cancers institute or by one other F.D.A. designated authorities company.Folks must also seek the advice of with their main care doctor earlier than taking any Covid-19 antibody take a look at at dwelling, the F.B.I. says. It additionally warned in opposition to sharing private or well being data with anybody who shouldn’t be a “identified and trusted medical skilled,” in addition to checking medical payments for suspicious claims and reporting these claims to medical health insurance suppliers.Among the many strategies fraudulent entrepreneurs use to acquire essential private data is looking individuals and telling them that they’re working with the federal government or that authorities officers are requiring them to take a Covid-19 antibody take a look at. They often additionally supply to carry out the take a look at for money.The purpose is to hunt private knowledge, like an individual’s title, date of beginning, Social Safety quantity, Medicare and medical health insurance data. This will later be used for id theft or medical insurance coverage fraud.The fraudulent assessments, the authorities say, are simply one other means for scammers to capitalize on individuals’s concern and uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic.Final Wednesday, the Federal Commerce Fee warned of scammers pretending to be contact tracers. In early June, the Inside Income Service alerted individuals about fraud surrounding authorities stimulus coronavirus funds.Again in April, the F.B.I. issued the same warning associated to Covid-19 testing and scammers seeking to promote false coronavirus cures, therapies and vaccines. Federal officers additionally warned final week about faux playing cards that had been being offered that claimed to exempt individuals from sporting face masks.

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