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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Water recovery team stands down search for missing man in Stellako River

Jason Bouchard was in a boat with a friend that overturned in the river May 16

COVID-19: PG Community Foundation to disperse community support funds

$197,630 in funding announced by the Prince George Community Foundation

CGL workforce will gradually increase to 650 workers by end of May

The pipeline company provided a project update on May 21.

With wildfire season approaching, here are some tips to be ‘FireSmart’ this year

Q & A with Lindsay King, FireSmart Educator for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read