Counterfeit COVID-19 Test Kits Land in the United States

March 23, 2020

By Grant D. Fairbairn

Where there is money to be made, you can bet on counterfeiters trying to take advantage by selling fake products. A global health crisis is apparently no different.

There have been at least two seizures of counterfeit COVID-19 test kits by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at U.S. airports, first on March 12 in Los Angeles and next on March 17 in Chicago. According to CBP, the counterfeit goods came through the airport in shipments originating from the United Kingdom. The manifest for the Los Angeles shipment indicated that it contained “purified water vials,” but the package actually contained vials filled with white liquid labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19).” CBP gave the shipments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for analysis.

As counterfeits go, this should be a relatively easy one to spot on the market. As CBP identifies in its press releases, authorized diagnostic testing for COVID-19 should only be conducted by verified state and local public health laboratories. There are no verified over-the-counter or home testing kits available for COVID-19 for sale in this country. If you see test kits for sale, steer clear!

The CBP’s news releases can be found at the following links:

Visit COVID-19 Resource Center