By District Attorney Summer Stephan
As California continues to set records for the number of people testing positive for the omicron variant of the coronavirus, you may find yourself becoming desperate to find an at-home test to avoid long lines at testing sites.
By now, we know unscrupulous scammers are always waiting for their next opportunity and the shortage of COVID-19 tests is no different. Bad actors may quickly use the omicron crisis to dupe the public into buying counterfeit tests. So, before you click the add-to-cart button on that website claiming to sell self-testing kits, know how to spot red flags so you don’t become a different kind of COVID-19 statistic.
Here’s a list of tips from the Federal Trade Commission on how to vet at-home tests:
If you are looking for an in-person test site:
Finally, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order this month proclaiming a state of emergency through March 31, aimed at preventing price gouging on COVID-19 at-home test kits. The order prohibits sellers from increasing prices on test kits by more than 10% if they had been selling them as of December 1, 2021, unless they can prove their costs have increased. Anyone who began selling tests after December 1, 2021 may not charge 50% greater than what they paid for the kit themselves.
As your District Attorney, I’m committed to increasing communication and accessibility between the DA’s Office and the public. I hope these consumer and public safety tips have been helpful. The Consumer Protection Unit is comprised of Deputy District Attorneys, Investigators and Paralegals dedicated to protecting consumers and law-abiding businesses from fraudulent or unfair business practices. To report a consumer complaint, you can call (619) 531-3507 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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