Covid Testing Scams Gain Currency in BulgariaSociety | May 10, 2021, Monday // 15:33| views
A new fraudulent scheme with PCR and antigen tests is gaining currency as the tourist season is drawing near. The scam is simple - sham sites and Facebook and Instagram pages appear, offering testing in an office or at home on behalf of really existing laboratories.
Prices are similar or slightly higher than those of licensed laboratories that also provide home services. The address of the lab is real, there is even a phone, but it is always busy.
The only option is a call via the Internet using a handset icon that activates this feature on Facebook and Instagram. The order is accepted and the fraudster emerges on the spot, who professionally takes a sample from the victim, promising that on the same day the certificate with the result will be delivered to the address.
The certificates look completely authentic, with QR codes and all the data from a real certificate. After 1-2 days, the site or Facebook page or Instagram vanish into thin air. After a few days, new ones appear, on behalf of another laboratory. Those tested usually find out about fraud when traveling, checking the certificate at the border. The fraudulent scheme was reported by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce on their website.
Fraudulent sites can be easily recognized by the lack of a certificate of authenticity on the website. When the site is authentic, a padlock is activated in the browser and the site is accessed via https. On Facebook and Instagram pages, the scam is difficult to detect, but Bulgarian laboratories are not signed up for Facebook by and large, experts say.
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