While most of us are seeking to keep eachother safe during the coronavirus pandemic, there are always a few bad actors seeking to capitalize off people’s justified fears.
This was made especially clear over the weekend, when federal authorities seized a package of vials labeled as COVID-19 test kits at Los Angeles International Airport.
The fake home testing kits from the United Kingdom were declared to be purified water vials valued at nearly $200, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection noticed that they were labeled as test kits for the virus.
“CBP officers discovered six plastic bags containing various vials, while conducting an enforcement examination of a parcel manifested as ‘Purified Water Vials’ with a declared value of $196.81. A complete examination of the shipment, led to the finding of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled ‘Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)’ and ‘Virus1 Test Kit,'” a statement from the agency said.
The agency is now warning the public against purchasing counterfeit test kits.
“The American public should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal direct to consumer settings,” the agency said in a statement on Saturday, according to a report from the Washington Times.
The vials have been turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for analysis.
“Testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is only conducted in verified state and local public laboratories across the country. On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and laid out new testing strategies after health care professionals, politicians and patients across the country complained about lack of access to testing,” the Associated Press reports.