Properly that did not take lengthy.
Lower than 24 hours after the US Postal Service launched an official web site for Individuals to request free fast coronavirus assessments, websites with suspiciously comparable URLs try to lure individuals into buying dear assessments. That is proper, the scammers are right here.
For the file, the official authorities web site for ordering free fast assessments is https://www.covidtests.gov/ (a hyperlink on that page takes guests to https://special.usps.com/testkits). Regardless of the similarity, websites like covidtestsgov.com will not be official authorities websites — and in reality hyperlinks out to costly fast assessments on the market.
Yeah, do not go right here.
Credit score: Screenshot: covidtestsgov.com
And we do imply costly. Clicking by way of covidtestsgov.com’s “At Residence COVID Test Kits” choice will convey a would-be customer to a different web site the place fast assessments are listed for $39.97 per two pack. Once more, the USPS will mail as much as 4 assessments per family freed from cost.
Free, or $399.97?
Credit score: Screenshot: Medident Provides
Final week, the Federal Trade Commission warned of faux in-person coronavirus testing websites. The difficulty of faux testing places, in different phrases, could be very a lot on the federal government’s radar.
Notably, based on a WHOIS lookup, covidtestsgov.com was solely registered on Jan. 13, 2022. That means, in all chance, the strikingly comparable URL isn’t any coincidence. Relatively, it suggests an try to grab up doable lookalike URLs forward of the White Home’s announcement of the official free COVID test webpage.
And covidtestsgov.com is not the one COVID testing web site with an eyebrow-raising URL.
We reached out to USPS and requested if it had any touch upon these lookalike URLs, however obtained no speedy response. We additionally reached out to the White Home press workplace in an try to find out why the administration’s plan did not contain locking down comparable URLs forward of the https://www.covidtests.gov/ web site launch, however had been unable to get anybody on the cellphone.
Here is the way to get free COVID assessments delivered to your door proper now
That somebody would possibly register official-looking URLs in a bid to fleece Individuals throughout a time of disaster shouldn’t have caught the White Home abruptly. Certainly, it is a unhappy custom relationship at the least again to the days of Hurricane Katrina.
Hopefully we have all realized one thing within the intervening 16 years — even when our elected officers have not.