The Maryland Office of the Attorney General is alerting Marylanders of individuals and labs offering door-to-door COVID testing. The individuals performing these tests promise prompt results but consumers have reported not receiving results several weeks after the initial test. Consumers have complained that they do not know how their personally identifiable information is being secured.
Consumers are advised to only get tested at approved COVID-19 testing sites. Visit covidtest.maryland.gov for a list of approved COVID-19 testing sites in Maryland. Your local health department can also provide information about testing in your area. Consumers should avoid testing conducted by random strangers who show up at their doors.
As of January 15, 2022, and during the public health emergency, private health insurance covers the cost of most over-the-counter COVID tests. Also, consumers can now request and receive four tests per household from the federal government at no cost. There are no shipping costs, and you don’t have to provide a credit card or bank account number. You only need to provide a name and address. Anyone who asks for more information than that is likely a scammer. So, remember:
- Visit COVIDtests.gov or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489) to order your free COVID test kits from the federal government. If you order online, you’ll be redirected to special.usps.com/testkits. If you follow a link from a news story, double-check the URL that shows in your browser’s address bar.
- No one will call, text, or email you from the federal government to ask for your information to “help” you order free kits. Only a scammer will contact you, asking for information like your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number. Do not respond. Instead, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
“We are monitoring these activities, but consumers should be on the alert and are urged to protect themselves against identity theft and scams by only getting tested at approved testing sites or using an FDA-authorized at-home test,” said Attorney General Brian E. Frosh.
Consumers who do not receive timely test results or have other concerns about a laboratory performing a COVID test should file a complaint with the Office of Healthcare Quality at https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/483176a200fc44858f42772adb9283d1. Consumers with billing concerns should contact the Maryland Attorney Generals’ Health Education and Advocacy Unit at https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Pages/CPD/HEAU/ComplaintChooser.aspx or by calling 410-528-1840 or 410-230-1712 (en español).
Anyone who was tested by someone going door-to-door or was deceived into giving personal information over the phone for free government tests could be at risk for identity theft. Anyone with questions or concerns about identity theft should visit the Maryland Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit webpage at https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Pages/IdentityTheft/default.aspx for important information. Consumers can also contact the Identity Theft Unit at 410-576-6491 or 410-230-1712 (en español).