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As COVID-19 Cases Intensify, Officials Warn Of Antibody Testing Scams

Engin Akyurt

The latest round of pandemic scams now includes fake or unapproved antibody tests. 

Yes, there are researchers working on ways to test large groups of people for COVID-19 antibodies. But many are still in development or not approved by the Food & Drug Administration.

Now the Oregon FBI is warning of ads and individuals promoting antibody testing. Some scammers tell their target that the government requires them to take an antibody test, before plying them for sensitive personal and health information, including Social Security numbers and Medicare records.

Credit World Health Organization / YouTube
WHO official Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove.

World Health Organization officials also warn that having antibodies doesn’t guarantee immunity to the coronavirus. In this video, WHO's Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove warns of so-called “immunity passports”.

“We’re also concerned about the use of such a certificate, because it may mean that someone who has this certificate will not adhere to public health measures, that they need to continue to adhere to.”

Anyone who suspects an antibody testing scam can contact their local FBI office.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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