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

Regional district proposes closure of unmonitored recycling bins, new depot for Masset

Proposed updates to Solid Waste Management Plan aim to reduce waste on Haida Gwaii, save money

Rainmakers of Haida Gwaii set to perform for Special Woodstock

20th festival will feature musicians with special needs and other bands from around the world

Haida Gwaii COVID cases climb to 24 over B.C. Day long weekend

10 cases active, 14 cases now recovered; 23 people also isolating as a result of contact tracing

Boon Docs comics illustrate Haida Gwaii health staff ‘Behind the Mask’

Family doctor and cartoonist Caroline Shooner shares inspiration for new comic series

COVID-19: Haida Gwaii grocery stores tighten restrictions

Some in-store grocery shopping shuts down following confirmation of community outbreak

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Most Read