CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Long lines at in-person testing sites are leading to increased demand for at-home COVID-19 testing kits and the FDA warns scammers are taking advantage.

The FDA and the FTC have issued a warning against fake and unauthorized COVID-19 home testing kits that are popping up online, including here in South Carolina.

A spokesperson for the SC Department of Consumer Affairs said opportunistic scammers are changing their tactics.

“Scammers follow the headlines and the headlines right now are that we have a huge spike in COVID cases, a huge spike in people who are looking to get tested so people are frantically trying to find tests,” Bailey Parker said.

Parker added that consumers should be aware of their surroundings and offered advice for online shoppers.

“Anyone can make a good-looking website these days so one of the things we tell people is if you are going to make that decision to buy online off of a website that you may not recognize or looks legitimate, see when that website was actually registered,” she said. “If it was set up in the last couple of months, it’s probably something you should avoid.”

Tips to avoid buying fake COVID tests online:

  • Make sure the test you are buying is authorized by the FDA using their list of antigen diagnostic tests and molecular diagnostic tests.
  • Check out the seller before you buy, especially if buying from a site you are not familiar with.
  • Read the online reviews.