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VERIFY: Maryland attorney general warns against fake COVID-19 test sites, identity theft scams

Illegal pop-up testing sites have been reported outside shopping centers, retail stores and even on the side of the road in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE — Unlicensed pop-up COVID-19 testing sites have been reported in Baltimore, and Maryland's attorney general is asking the public not to be tested at these sites. The unauthorized individuals are advertising "free COVID-19 tests" outside shopping centers, retail stores and on the side of the road. 

Question:

How do you know if a COVID-19 test site in Maryland is real?

Answer:

Maryland has a website you can go to check the legitimacy of a test site.

Source:

The Office of Maryland's Attorney General Brian Frosh.

What We Found:

“Consumers in need of a COVID-19 test should have it performed at an approved testing site,” Frosh said. “Providing personal information, such as social security numbers, to individuals hosting one of these pop-up sites not only puts your health at risk but increases your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.”

Frosh said the sites are not following CDC guidelines for specimen collection and could be identity theft scams. 

If you have tested at one of these pop-up testing sites, it is encouraged that you re-test at an approved facility, followed by an immediate quarantine while you wait for the results. 

There are multiple kinds of tests and test sites across Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. The map below details the different kinds of tests available. There are rapid tests that can deliver you results in minutes, there are drive-through tests where you can remain in your car, but most testing sites require an appointment ahead of time -- it's important you contact the desired testing site ahead of time to confirm the right protocol.

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RELATED: Here's where you can get a coronavirus test in DC, Maryland and Virginia

To report health scams, contact the Maryland Attorney General’s Health Education and Advocacy Unit at 410-528-1840. 

Maryland reported 2,265 new cases and 23 new deaths from the coronavirus on Monday. The state is now averaging 46 deaths a day from COVID-19.

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