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'If something seems off, walk away' | San Diego District Attorney warns about fake COVID testing sites

"COVID, like any emergency, brings out the best and worst in people," said Summer Stephan.

SAN DIEGO — As the demand for COVID testing continues, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office is warning people about fake pop-up testing sites. "COVID, like any emergency, brings out the best and worst in people," said San Diego District Attorney, Summer Stephan.

Stephan tells CBS 8 her office has received complaints about suspicious sites.

"We did receive complaints about pop-up testing sites that did not look like they're following procedures....something was off. They didn't have you know gloves. They didn't really have their company or their laboratory advertised," explained Stephan.

Investigators with the DA's Consumer Protection Division have visited several sites. They haven't encountered anything illegal, but Stephan says they're out there looking to either steal people’s identity or use it to file fake insurance claims.

"They're gonna use that to get payments from Medi-Cal or other payments through this testing and potentially not deliver the test result," said Stephan.

Here are some signs a pop up site could be a scam:

  • It's set up on a sidewalk or near a county site in hopes of luring people from long lines
  • It's not affiliated with a medical provider
  • The site's materials do not have a logo
  • You're asked for your social security number
  • The site's workers cannot answer basic questions, such as what lab the tests are being sent to

Bottom line, Stephan says if something seems off, walk away, and report it just in case.

“What we like to see is more prevention, so stopping someone from getting scammed,” said Stephan.

Stephan suggests visiting a county-run site or one recommended by someone you know and trust.

Also, she warns about fake COVID tests you buy online, make sure they're authorized by the FDA and haven't expired.

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