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The presumptions for compensability of a COVID related workers’ compensation claim is predicated on a positive test for the presence of the virus. However, according to the California Attorney General, there are now “fake” testing sites surfacing in California.

Throughout California, fake testing sites are sprouting up to exploit families and individuals seeking COVID tests. It is important to recognize the signs of sham testing sites to protect both your money and personal information,” said Attorney General Bonta. “I urge Californians to do their part to avoid fake testing sites by utilizing state resources, including the California Department of Public Health’s website, to find a verified COVID-19 testing site.”

It would seem prudent that the investigation of claims should not dig deeper to insure that the test offered by the claimant was not from one of the “fake” sites, and indeed is an authentic test result.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued this warning to Californians, so they become beware of fake COVID-19 testing locations and websites.

The alert claims that with an increased demand for COVID-19 testing due to the recent spike in cases, scammers are exploiting vulnerable individuals looking to determine whether they have the COVID-19 virus.

These unverified sites pose as legitimate companies and healthcare clinics offering COVID-19 testing. However, after receiving payment for a COVID-19 test, these fake testing sites oftentimes fail to provide their patients with their test results.

These sites may also ask for a patient’s personal identifiable information with the intention of committing fraud. The alert shared tips on how to avoid testing site scams, as well as how to search and locate legitimate, verified testing sites.

–  People should only get tested at verified COVID-19 testing sites or through medical groups: To find a testing site that is verified to perform COVID-19 testing, use the California Department of Public Health’s test site search tool.

–  Someone may also search for local testing sites through your county’s local public health department. You can find your county’s public health department website at COVID19.CA.GOV’s Hotlines and Local Info web page.

–  Also check with local medical groups to see if they offer testing services within their facility.

Should someone choose to use an unaffiliated testing site, be wary of the following:

– – If a provider insists on documenting nationality or immigration status;
– – If a provider does not offer a notice of privacy practices, or cannot explain how it will use and share personal data; or
– – If a provider insists on accessing a passport or driver’s license when they have other documents that show insurance status.

Identify and avoid “lookalike” websites: Fake testing sites may require a person to sign up online. Beware of fake websites that purposely look identical to those belonging to well-known, trusted organizations and state agencies. Before entering personal information into an online form, always make sure that the website is secure and does not display misspellings or unfamiliar names in the URL.

Be cautious of unsolicited calls regarding testing sites: A legitimate company or health clinic will not call, text, or email anyone without permission. If someone receives an unsolicited message from an individual, they should not provide the caller or sender with any personal information until having confirmed it is coming from a legitimate source. If someone feels pressured to provide personal information, just hang up.

Any of these red flags or tips would be good questions to ask a claimant for purposes of establishing the validity of any COVID test result.