On April 30, 2020, RCMP said officers seized 1,500 fake test kits from a resident in Richmond. It is illegal to sell unauthorized health equipment in Canada. (RCMP handout)

Police seize 1,500 fake COVID-19 tests being sold in B.C.

Richmond resident won’t be charged, fraud task force says

RCMP have seized 1,500 fake COVID-19 test kits which they say were being sold in B.C.

The COVID-19 Fraud Response Team, in partnership with Health Canada, acted on a tip from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre recently, police said in a statement Thursday (April 30).

That brought them to the home of a Richmond resident where police seized the unauthorized kits, which claimed to be a “rapid” COVID-19 test and featured a how-to cassette. No charges are being laid against the individual at this time, police said.

Selling or advertising health products that make false or misleading claims to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada. Only diagnostic tests authorized by Health Canada can be imported or sold in Canada. Authorized COVID-19 tests provide accurate and reliable results, whereas unauthorized tests may lead to potential misdiagnosis.

Those who suspect they have the contagious respiratory illness are urged to call HealthLink BC at 811 and request to be tested by health officials.

The fraud response task force was implemented in April, to deal with various scams that are coming out during the pandemic. Canadian officials monitor websites for false and misleading claims and have been working with online retailers to ensure that unauthorized products and products making unauthorized claims are removed from their websites.

The novel coronavirus has not only disrupted daily life, but created vast opportunity for scammers to bilk unknowing victims out of money and personal information.

READ MORE: Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

The types of scams can be infinite and change daily, police said, ranging from unauthorized sale of unapproved medical devices to online phishing regarding fake COVID-19 testing, Revenue Canada and government grants such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

In March, the federal government warned Canadians of a CERB scam circulating by text message, erroneously telling recipients of the message to click a link to ensure their application for the emergency benefit was approved.

In addition to scams, police have been monitoring for people attempting to re-sell personal protective equipment at inflated costs, which is illegal in B.C. under the provincial state of emergency.

READ MORE: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies; limits buying quantities


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Valley artist gifts B.C.’s health officer with symbolic hummingbird

A special connection brought the piece to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s desk in Victoria

Black Lives Matter events planned for Courtenay

Peaceful gatherings are scheduled for Simms Park Friday and Saturday

Arnott taking medical leave as Comox mayor

Coun. Ken Grant will step in a mayor for time being

Comox Valley Regional District receives $100,000 to develop poverty action plan

Courtenay-Comox NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says a $100,000 grant in provincial funding… Continue reading

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Most Read