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

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Saanich police search for potential victims, witnesses after series of unprovoked assaults

Police are looking for more information about two incidents from June 12

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read