Fraudulent COVID testing sites shut down by officials in South Gate, Bell Gardens

Eric Resendiz Image
Saturday, January 22, 2022
Fraudulent COVID test sites shut down in South Gate, Bell Gardens
Officials are shutting down illegitimate COVID-19 testing sites that have popped up in South Gate, Bell Gardens the Southeast Los Angeles area.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites have been popping up in South Gate, Bell Gardens and the Southeast Los Angeles area, according to local officials.

Officials are warning residents to not fall for them -- releasing photos of a few illegitimate sites that have now been shut down.

"They are asking for cash, they are asking for social security number. They are asking for identity -- that really alarms us," said Councilmember Denise Diaz of South Gate.

This past weekend, South Gate shut down four fraudulent sites, according to Diaz. One of them was in the parking lot of the shopping center at Tweedy Boulevard and San Gabriel Avenue, where a CVS store is located.

Norwalk resident Maria Cano said she went to get tested more than a week ago at that location.

"I never imagined this is all a fraud," said Cano. "I came here to do a test. But, to this date, I haven't received my results."

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Bell Gardens also shut down two sites, according to Councilmember Lisseth Flores. Some residents reported they paid up to $200 and never received their results, and some sites even required residents to write down their social security number.

"I am concerned," said Cano. "What are they going to do with all of the information they got from everyone here?"

"We are concerned of the long-term effect, perhaps identity fraud," said Diaz.

Officials said they will continue to monitor pop-up testing sites.

"Any information regarding whether they are a government site, an accredited medical facility, a business licensing -- if they cannot provide any of those three things, we ask them to shut down, come to city hall and get a business license," said Diaz.