PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum released a warning Wednesday morning alerting Oregonians of “suspicious testing sites” and COVID-19 at-home tests selling for “sky-high prices.”
“The huge demand for Covid-19 testing of all kinds— at-home tests, rapid antigen tests, PCR tests–brings bad actors and some businesses trying to make a quick buck out from the shadows,” said Rosenblum. “We see it all the time in moments of desperation like this testing urgency.”
In a statement released by Rosenblum’s office, the average price for two at-home tests is about $20. While tests being sold on websites such as eBay, Craigslist and NextDoor are allegedly selling for far more.
Officials advise individuals should be wary of pop-up testing sites that require out-of-pocket fees, don’t display logos and are not affiliated with a known organization.
Oregonians can find a reliable testing site through the Oregon Health Authority’s testing locator.
The announcement by Rosenblum’s department came a day after KOIN 6 News had heard from Portland residents who questioned the results they received from a COVID testing site.
Some said they’ve tested negative at a Center for COVID Control site on Southeast 45th, while testing positive elsewhere, or just never received PCR test results at all.
The other Center for COVID Control site, in Northeast Portland’s Hollywood District, was locked up on Wednesday with a simple hand-written sign saying they were out of supplies.
Meanwhile, people kept showing up — telling KOIN 6 News they haven’t gotten their test results back or they’re dying for a COVID test.
A KOIN 6 News crew drove to the Tigard location to find a messy hut, with more hand-written signs saying they’re closed and out of supplies.
the spokesperson for the Department of Justice says they’re now looking into the Center for COIVD Control.
“So we have received a couple different complaints, consumer complaints into the attorney general consumer hotline, about the Center for COVID Control. We have opened an investigation this week. Unfortunately, I’m not able to share a lot of details about that investigation,” Kristina Edmunson of the Oregon Department of Justice said.
The Department of Justice is asking Oregonians to contact the Attorney Generals Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or www.OregonConsumer.Gov if you have any information about the Center for COVID Control or any other suspicious testing site in town.
KOIN 6 News reached out to the company for comment and is waiting to hear back.
Meanwhile, Rosenblum’s office also advised those buying at-home tests online to make sure the test is authorized by the FDA and pay by credit card. Additionally, the FDA recommends before buying a test individuals should look into the seller by searching the website or company’s name along with the words “scam” or “complaint,” according to Rosenblum.
BBB recommends contacting any of the following for information on tests, test kits, and registered testing locations before going:
- Primary care physician
- Local health department
- U.S. Health and Human Services department
- The FDA website
If the consumer feels they were scammed or taken advantage of they should look at the following options:
- If the person gave out their social security number, report it to the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General
- If credit card information is shared, contact the credit card company to cancel the card and put a freeze on your credit at annualcreditreport.com.
- If you suspect someone has stolen your identity, go to identitytheft.gov for a step-by-step process.
- To report fraud: