By Mike Kruzman /

Livingston County residents are being encouraged to not fall for the latest scam, which involves fake COVID-19 test kits.

With test kits being scarce on shelves during the Omicron wave, scam artists with dubious intentions are using it as an opportunity to separate area residents from their money. Following a recently released warning from the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reissuing her “Websites Selling COVID-Related Products That Are Fake or Never Arrive Consumer Alert.”

Nessel said, in a release, that there is a huge demand for at-home test kits right now, and so it is important to understand that there will be attempts by criminals to capitalize on that. Her Department’s Consumer Protection team is seeing an increase in calls and complaints related to at-home test concerns and is evaluating to determine if additional steps are needed.

The Attorney General’s Office asks consumers to consider these tips if shopping online for COVID test kits: First, make sure the test you are buying is authorized by the FDA. Secondly, check the seller, especially if buying from a site you are unfamiliar with. Do an online search for the website or company, adding words like “scam” or “complaint” to see if anything comes up. Compare online reviews from a variety of websites to get a better picture of the product being sold. Finally, pay by credit card and dispute the charge if you are charged for an order that never arrives or comes not as advertised.

Consumer complaints can be found on the Attorney General’s website. If you have further questions, call 1-877-765-8388.