Scammers Now Sell Fraudulent COVID-19 Tests to Deceive Employers
GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – Since the start of the pandemic, there have been a number of scams targeting different groups. Well, one of these scams actually targets employers.
We are talking about fraudulent covid tests. Scammers are now looking for positive tests for them so people can take time off work and get paid time off, but at what real cost?
“When they sent us the version of the document, we looked at it oh, no it wasn’t from us,” said Kristen Hoover, Onslow County public health director.
Fake COVID tests hit the market as crooks encourage people to try to fool their employers. Fake tests can be bought from criminals who then affix forged signatures and fraudulent letterhead to the test, making it look like it came from a lab.
“We don’t want useless individuals trying to mess up the process for other people who work really hard every day and try to do everything they can to get through a really tough situation for our company,” said Hoover. .
This is Kristen Hoover, the director of public health for Onslow County. She says these tests can also really mess up healthcare workers who try to do their jobs every day.
“In public health, we are very busy managing the sheer volume of test results that we receive. So when we receive questions about potential fraud from an employer, it kind of slows down our day-to-day process.” Hoover said.
So how do these scammers reach out to people? Well, one day Ford Sanders of WNCT stumbled upon a message in his inbox on Instagram offering him a fake covid test to help him get two weeks of paid time off. The scammer then directed him to an account that said the test would cost him $ 60, which means more money in his bank.
Hoover says it can really snowball.
“One bad egg or someone trying to set up a fraudulent situation like this can snowball quickly and cause many others to be out of the office due to the exhibits,” Hoover said.
Hoover also mentions that it bothers HR professionals and employers alike as it starts to draw a fuzzy line around HIPAA privacy.