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ALPENA, Mich. — Many people are still trying to track down COVID–19 tests after the holidays. However, many tests remain in short supply, creating an opportunity for scam artists.

The Better Business Bureau recently investigated claims of fraudulent COVID clinics in western Michigan. While they didn’t find any evidence of fraud in that region, the BBB said scam artists have set up multiple sham locations and websites across the country.

Cathy Goike, health educator at DHD 4, said there are a few things that can tip you off to a fake.

“Testing is free unless you buy testing kits at Walmart or wherever. But testing events are free. So if they’re asking you to pay up front when you make your appointment or they ask for credit card information, that’s a red flag. Don’t do it.”

Similarly, the BBB said you should call your health department if you think a clinic looks sketchy.

Both Goike and the BBB say your first options for testing should always be with trusted provider, such as a pharmacy.