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Kern Public Health warns residents of COVID testing site scams

COVID-19 testing
Posted at 10:19 PM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 13:30:00-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Many residents found themselves running to COVID testing sites this holiday season and with the spread of the omicron variant, testing hasn’t slowed.

Although, recently getting a test has become more difficult, causing many Kern County residents to look for alternative testing sites but it’s leading to concerns when it comes to scams.

“We encourage everyone to start at our website, that’s kernpublichealth.com. We began at the very beginning of the pandemic to gather information from the local providers clinics and different organizations that are doing testing and we put that information on a map.”

Michelle Corson with Kern Public Health said this map is interactive and lists nearly all of the COVID testing sites within Kern, but she understands there is potential for scams.

“We don’t know any specific circumstances locally but that doesn't mean we shouldn't all remind ourselves safe steps to take when looking for a COVID-19 testing site.”

A Communication Specialist from the Better Business Bureau, Clayton Alexander, said that there are two cons to look out for:

“The first one is fake testing sites that people have actually set up and they make it look official. They’ve got the swabs, they've got clipboard, and table. Then the other one that we’re seeing a lot more of is fake registration sites.”

It could happen to anyone, it’s a simple as scrolling on your computer and clicking the wrong ad.

“When you think you’ve fallen for a scam, time is sort of the essence. What you want to do first is contact the federal trade commission,” said Alexander.

Alexander said it's smart to go to identitytheft.gov so they can walk you through every scenario.

Corson said they want to make sure Kern County residents feel safe during the testing process.

“If you’re out and about and you see a pop-up test site and you’re unsure, we really encourage you to email our department. The email address is publichealth@kerncounty.com.”