Eye on Scams: Beware of this “Mandatory” COVID-19 test text scam

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The Better Business Bureau is warning of a text scam about COVID-19 mandatory testing.
The BBB Scam Tracker has got numerous reports of phony text messages claiming to be from a government agency.

Laurian Clause, with the BBB of Acadiana, said, “What they’re doing is leading them to a website to take this mandatory online COVID-19 test. We want our consumers to know there is no online test for the coronavirus.

“​​Here’s how the mandatory COVID-19 test text scams work:​ You get a text message that looks like it comes from the U.S. Federal Government.​ Current reports say that scammers are impersonating the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.​​

“It is a phishing scam,” explained Clause. “The website that they do direct you to can obtain all of your information, and you can be a victim of identity theft. They do and can through your device install malware whereby then you’re a victim of that identity theft.”​​

No matter what the text message says, experts warn to not click on it.​ These texts are phishing for your personal information.​​
“Consumers are seeing information from the government, especially now in this crisis situation that we’re in. We want to make sure that they’re still heeding and expressing and experiencing a lot of caution when they’re looking at all of this information,” added Clause.
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to avoid this phishing scam:

  • Government agencies will not contact you through text messages.​ 
  • Do your research and see if a government agency or organization actually exists.

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