(CBS DETROIT) – When going online to buy a home COVID-19 test, here are some things you need to do before you checkout.

This has been a gold mine for scammers for the last two years to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

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According to the Better Business Bureau and The Federal Trade Commission, there’s a community online working to profit off your covid body aches and pains.

The notice prompted the A.G. to send a warning.

What we found is that the best way to take advantage of a person is when they’re scared. When they’re nervous for their lives or their livelihoods,” Nessel said.

Online thieves are selling fraudulent covid-related products or taking orders for products that will never arrive.

Here’s one major red flag:

“It had you log on and provide all kinds of information that I at least in this job have become savvy enough to know ‘why do you need my social security number,” Nessel said.

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“The box came without instructions so that you wouldn’t know how to use the test. Then you’re supposed to log on and provide all kinds of details about yourself.”

And price gouging is another concern.

The price of these tests remained artificially low due to sort of a contract that the federal government had, and then that expired, “Nessel explained.

“So now we’re going to see an increase in tests prices, but to go from something like, I don’t know, $15 or $20 to $80, obviously, I think we’re talking about price gouging.”

Here’s what you need to know before you buy:

  • Make sure the test you’re buying is authorized by the FDA. Check the FDA’s lists of antigen and molecular diagnostic tests before you buy
  • Research the seller, especially if you’re buying from a site you don’t know.
  • Compare online reviews
  • And pay by credit card. If you’re charged for an order you never got, or for a product that’s not as advertised, contact your credit card company and dispute the charge.


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