Illinois health officials have been joined by the Chicago and Northern Illinois Better Business Bureau (BBB) in warning Illinois residents to choose their testing site carefully.

The bad news is that there are what are being called "unreputable sites" popping up all over the state. The good news is that, armed with information, you should be able to avoid them.

People entering and exiting a COVID testing location.
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Pop Up COVID Testing Sites Might Be Convenient And Closer To Home, But...

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has called some of the sites "fly-by-night, pop-up" operations, and says that he has directed the Illinois Attorney General's office to investigate them.

Pritzker said some would take patients' swabs and send those out to a laboratory, but then would not take "responsibility for how long it takes to get that result back from a lab that they may have no relationship with."

"Some of them are not even returning results at all," Pritzker said.

Signage for a drive thru COVID-19 testing clinic.
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It's Not Just The Fact That You Might Not Get Results Back, You Could Have Your Personal Information And Money Stolen, Too

The Chicago/Northern Illinois BBB says that they've been getting reports of these pop up sites having unmasked employees, charging money for testing, not returning test results, asking for driver's licenses, credit card information, and/or social security numbers from people wanting to be tested.

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Here's How To Avoid Getting Scammed When All You Want Is A COVID Test

Illinois health officials point out that if someone asks you for money to be tested, you should look at that as a big red flag that something isn't right. Other than your name, testing sites should only need a little information about you, and where to contact you with your results.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady told Chicago's ABC-7 that you should ask if the test is FDA-authorized, and which laboratory they're sending the tests to. If the testing site has trouble answering those questions, it's another sign that something's off.

Rather than take the risk, click here to be taken to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) webpage that has a list of community-based testing sites that are legit.

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