Bay Area Officials Cracking Down on COVID Testing Scams

NBC Universal, Inc.

Two Bay Area counties along with local cyber security companies are targeting bogus COVID-19 tests and suspicious testing sites.

The fake tests attempt to take money and key information from people.

In some cases, scammers are targeting phones and people's anxiety about how hard it is to find COVID tests. In other cases, testing sites are not following the rules and may not be providing accurate results.

San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu said he is investigating pop-up testing sites operating without a license.

"We are initiating an investigation of reports of rogue testing operators," Chiu said.

San Francisco, along with Alameda County, issued warnings Tuesday about price gouging.

In San Francisco, authorities are looking into a company called Community Wellness America for potentially offering unapproved tests near Golden Gate Park and Delores Park since last Wednesday.

"It's unacceptable that there could be rogue actors trying to exploit the situation, trying to make a quick buck out of unlicensed testing facilities," Chiu said.

NBC Bay Area reached out to Community Wellness America for comment and had not heard back as of Tuesday.

High-tech scams are the other risks being associated to the demand for testing.

Data thieves are reaching out via telegram and text messages. The scammers are claiming to offer at-home COVID tests and fake vaccine cards in exchange for money and private information.

Officials said the best bet is to not trust any anonymous test site, buy an at-home test from reputable retailers -- not ads or links -- and look first to your health care provider and local department of public health for approved testing sites.

Contact Us