A COVID-19 test isn't something you should be doing at home. But that doesn't stop people from trying to make a buck off of selling them to you. One person was caught with thousands of fake COVID-19 tests in Vancouver and police say he was selling them online.
In a statement on Thursday, April 30, the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit said they busted a man running a business that sold unauthorized COVID-19 test kits online to unsuspecting strangers.
Health inspectors teamed up with RCMP to seize 1,500 unauthorized test kits from the Richmond man after getting tipped off by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They didn't say when or where this seizure took place, other than noting the suspect lived in Richmond, B.C.
"Authorized COVID-19 tests provide accurate and reliable results, whereas unauthorized tests may lead to potential misdiagnosis," wrote the RCMP in their release.
Only those tests authorized by Health Canada are allowed to be sold or imported in Canada.
Any selling or advertising devices that wrongly or misleadingly claim to "prevent, diagnose, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada," continued the release.
"Health Canada takes this matter very seriously and is taking action to stop this activity."
As for the suspect in question, the statement continues that "no charges were laid by the BC RCMP as a result of the seizure."
The RCMP then warned that anyone who bought and is using unauthorized health products should stop using them immediately.
If they're having health concerns, they should check with a health care professional, the statement adds.
An "unauthorized health product" means anything that hasn't been tested, verified, and authorized for selling in the country by Health Canada.
To tell if a product is safe and authorized, check the packaging for a "drug identification number (DIN), natural product number (NPN) or homeopathic medicines number (DIN-HM)," reads a statement from Health Canada.
"Canadians are reminded to be extra careful during the pandemic regarding online frauds and scams," said Inspector Lav Mangat, Operations Officer for the BC RCMP Financial Integrity Program, in the statement.
"We are all in this together. Always assume any unsolicited contact is a potential scam."