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'I just had a funny feeling' | How to know if a COVID-19 testing site is legitimate

As COVID-19 spreads, testing sites are popping up just about everywhere. But how do you know which ones to trust?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It seems testing sites are popping up just as quickly as COVID-19 cases these days. But which ones can you trust and what should you look out for? Several residents reached out to WCNC Charlotte asking about sketchy testing sites and what they should do about it. 

"It's wasn't great at all, it's a headache," Sherry Haygood, who got tested in Indian Trail a week ago, said. "t's just crazy, real crazy."

Haygood says there were several red flags including a questionnaire asking for her social security number and her specimen being sent to California to be tested. 

"I just had a funny feeling," she said. "I had a real funny feeling that I wasn't going to get it back."

Seven days later and she was still waiting for her result, unable to go to work without a negative COVID-19 test result. 

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WCNC Charlotte went to the Better Business Bureau to get some answers about pop-up clinics and if any are scammers out there. 

"The pop-ups aren't from around here," Tom Bartholomy, president and CEO of the BBB of Charlotte, said. "We've seen some of them from Washington state, some of them from Texas."

He said before you get tested you need to know who you're working with. 

"If it's under a tent and you don't know the name -- while you're waiting in line, google the name. BBB the name (search the company in the BBB's database)," he said. 

Bartholomy said you should start asking questions if they ask for your social security number, credit card number or a Medicare number if you're a senior. He advised you should never give that information out. 

"It just opens the door for these type of scammers to walk right through and take advantage of folks," he said.

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He said each testing site is supposed to be registered with the state, but the feds are supposed to oversee them and make sure businesses aren't scamming people at testing sites. It's unclear if they're doing so. 

"Before you give them any information, make sure you check them out," Bartholomy said. 

If you have doubts, the BBB urges you to use testing clinics associated with your local or state health departments. 

The BBB has a scammer tracker where you can monitor area businesses and scammers. 

The FDA also has a database with all companies that are registered to test. It is routinely changing since more and more testing sites are becoming available. 

Contact Hunter Sáenz at hsaenz@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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