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Websites Selling Coronavirus-related Products That Never Arrive
As COVID cases grip Michigan, Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding Michiganders to do their research before buying products online that are related to the pandemic - including at-home test kits, masks or products advertised as capable of killing the virus.
A spike in cases will result in more people looking for tests and other COVID-related products, which creates opportunities for bad actors to capitalize on unsuspecting consumers.
The Federal Trade Commission has shared the following tips if you're shopping online for COVID test kits and related items:
- Make sure the item you're buying is authorized by the FDA. Check the FDA's lists of antigen diagnostic tests and molecular diagnostic tests before you buy to find the tests authorized for home use. (EUA is "emergency use authorization.")
- Check out a seller before you buy, especially if you're buying from a site you don't know. Search online for the website, company, or seller's name plus words like "scam," "complaint," or "review."
- Compare online reviews from a wide variety of websites. You can get a good idea about a company, product, or service from reading user reviews on various retail or shopping comparison sites. Think about the source of the review. Ask yourself: Where is this review coming from? Is it from an expert organization or individual customers?
- Pay by credit card. If you're charged for an order you never got, or for a product that's not as advertised, contact your credit card company and dispute the charge.
Additional warnings on how to avoid purchasing non-existent personal protective equipment (PPE) and other coronavirus-related products are available from the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Federal Trade Commission.
Remember, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection webpage is always available as a resource for consumers to turn to.
To report a scam, file a complaint, or get additional information, contact the Consumer Protection Division:
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Toll free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form