A precautionary warning for consumers to be on the look-out for dodgy sellers of COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) kits now that they are cleared for sale in WA.
Consumer Protection advises that opportunistic scammers have set up fake websites or are selling unapproved self-testing kits that don’t work, so extreme caution is needed particularly if buying online.
Consumers should only purchase RAT kits that are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), a list can be found on the TGA website, and purchase them from reliable suppliers.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said scammers are capitalising on the huge demand for rapid testing kits.
“Overseas experience suggests that desperate consumers experiencing supply shortages are buying home testing kits from unknown websites and, if they do receive anything, it is often a kit that does not provide accurate results,” Mr Newcombe said.
“Using fake products that give false negative results increases the risk of people unknowingly spreading the virus or not getting the appropriate treatment.
“Apart from the risk of losing money, consumers purchasing these dodgy kits online may be the target of identity theft by providing personal and financial information to criminals.
“There are also websites selling bogus COVID-19 vaccines and treatments that consumers need to avoid and they should only rely on the advice of local medical professionals.
“We recommend checking the TGA website to confirm the RAT kit you are purchasing is approved. Checks can also be made on the supplier by doing an ABN Lookup and searching the internet for any negative reviews or comments about the business.
“To avoid being scammed, we recommend paying with a credit card or via PayPal so there’s an opportunity for a charge back if the product doesn’t arrive. Paying by bank transfer or any other method may be risky.”
Consumers should also be aware that the Commonwealth Government has placed a limit on the price mark-up of the test kits:
WA consumers who have concerns about any seller of testing kits can lodge a complaint on the Consumer Protection website