Trading Standards has warned travellers to beware of scammers offering bogus Covid-19 tests and fake certificates as travel resumes.
Bruce Treloar, Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) lead officer for holiday and travel law, issued the warning today.
He reported Trading Standards Authorities are investigating cases of travellers paying more than £100 for rapid Covid tests, including PCR tests, which turn out to be fake.
The phoney tests, frequently advertised on social media, may carry the names of genuine Covid-test laboratories listed on the government’s list of approved providers.
In a statement, Treloar said: “Trading Standards are warning travellers to beware of scammers offering bogus Covid-19 tests, fake ‘Covid-free’ certificates and, worst of all, imitation PCR tests.
“A number of Trading Standards Authorities are currently investigating cases where travellers have unwittingly paid over £100 to fraudsters for a ‘quick-turn-around’ Covid-19 test and received a fake ‘all-clear’ certificate in return.”
Treloar noted: “The success of this scam has now spread to PCR tests
“The genuine laboratories named on the certificates have confirmed they were unaware of the ‘testing firm’ and did not carry out the tests or issue any certificates.
“These ‘quick-turn-around’ tests were being advertised on social media, targeted at individuals who do not have symptoms but require proof of a negative test result, for example before embarking on a flight or for work.”
Most destinations on the government’s 12-strong green list of countries to which travel can resume without quarantine require a negative Covid test before departure.
Travellers are then required to take a PCR test following their return to the UK, on top of a test before flying back to Britain.
Those retuning from amber destinations are required to take two PCR tests as well as to quarantine for 10 days. Travellers are not permitted to use NHS tests, but must pay private providers.
Treloar said: “Consumers requiring private tests normally have to pay for them at a cost of around £150.”
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