RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) — More than 1,500 illegal COVID-19 test kits have been seized following an investigation by a B.C. RCMP fraud team and Health Canada.
They were being sold online by a Richmond resident, who had acquired them without authorization, according to police.
No charges have been laid.
The RCMP team responded to a tip from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre about the test kits, which were seized by Health Canada inspectors.
Only diagnostic tests authorized by Health Canada can be imported or sold in the country, says an RCMP release.
“Authorized COVID-19 tests provide accurate and reliable results, whereas unauthorized tests may lead to potential misdiagnosis.”
Another case of buyer beware.
No word when the seizure happened; no charges laid.
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) April 30, 2020
Selling or advertising health products that make false or misleading claims to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure COVID-19 is illegal in Canada, RCMP says.
Health Canada monitors websites for false and misleading claims, working with online retailers to ensure unauthorized products and claims are removed.
“Canadians who have purchased unauthorized health products should stop using them immediately and consult a health care professional if they have used any of these products and have health concerns,” says RCMP.
The B.C. RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Financial Integrity Program created the COVID-19 Fraud Response Team to deal with scams during the pandemic.
“The types of scams can be infinite and change daily, ranging from unauthorized sale of unapproved medical devices to online phishing regarding fake COVID-19 testing, Revenue Canada and Health Authorities communications, government grants such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and many more.”