BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland Office of the Attorney General is warning consumers of illegal, unlicensed pop-up COVID-19 testing sites operating in the Baltimore area. Individuals are setting up “Free COVID-19 Testing” tables at random locations, including outside shopping centers and retail stores, and along the sides of local roads.
Officials say these testing sites are not authorized and the individuals operating them are not following CDC guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens from persons for COVID-19, and they could be placing consumers at risk. Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is encouraging consumers to visit covidtest.maryland.gov for a list of more than 240 approved COVID-19 testing sites in Maryland.
“Consumers in need of a COVID-19 test should have it performed at an approved testing site,” said Attorney General Frosh. “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.”
Anyone who received a COVID-19 test at any of these illegal pop-up testing sites should get another test from an approved testing site and seek medical attention if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
Unauthorized pop-up testing sites could be a scheme for identity thieves to harvest sensitive, personal information from consumers. The Office of Attorney General says that the unauthorized testing sites are taking personal information, including social security numbers, driver’s license information, dates of birth, health insurance information, and DNA – all of which can be used for identity theft. Anyone with questions or concerns about identity theft can contact the Maryland Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit at 410-576-6491 or 410-230-1712 (en Español).
To report health scams, contact the Maryland Attorney General’s Health Education and Advocacy Unit at 410-528-1840 or 410-230-1712 (en Español).