BALTIMORE (WJZ) — When looking to get tested for the coronavirus, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh warns Marylanders to avoid pop-up testing sites.
Illegal, unlicensed pop-up COVID-19 testing sites have been discovered in Baltimore City, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General has found.
People are allegedly setting up “Free COVID-19 Testing” tables at random locations, including outside shopping centers and retail stores and along the side of the road.
So far, two locations have been found: one outside a Dollar Tree on East Monument Street and another at the Westside Shopping Center on Frederick Avenue.
Frosh said the operators are not following CDC guidelines for collecting, handling and testing clinical specimens from people with COVID-19.
- Coronavirus Resources: How To Get Help In Maryland
- TIMELINE: Coronavirus In Maryland, Tracking The Spread
- Latest coronavirus stories from WJZ
- Latest CDC Guidelines
“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.”
The Office of the Attorney General said the sites could be a scheme for identity thieves to harvest sensitive personal information from others.
They said they are aware that the testing sites are taking personal information, including social security numbers, driver’s license information, dates of birth, health insurance information and DNA.
Montez Holman works across the street from the Dollar Tree location and saw the fake testing site. He told WJZ he was immediately suspicious.
“He was asking me about a test, and then when he said you can do it to yourself, it automatically threw red flags in my mind,” Holman said.
Other Baltimoreans said the scam was upsetting.
“I think that’s totally wrong,” Shakena Reed said.
Anyone who received a COVID-19 test from any of the illegal pop-up testing sites should get a test from an approved site. 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).