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Caught on video: men going door to door, offering COVID testing

Posted at 3:27 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 22:19:31-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A report of two men going door to door in a Chula Vista neighborhood with a COVID-related offer is raising alarm bells.

The knock at the door came just past 6:30 p.m. Friday. Two men, their masks pulled below their mouths, were standing outside Anna's home near Southwestern College.

"Can I help you?" she is heard asking in her Ring doorbell video.

Anna's question gets an odd reply.

"We're looking for the queen of the castle," said the man at the door.

Moments later, the man at the door makes his pitch.

"We're going door to door doing COVID testing. Have you been tested?" he asks.

Anna, an ICU social worker, sensed something shady.

"I work at a hospital. No, no, no. Goodbye!" she exclaimed in the video.

Just 10 minutes prior, the man who was standing back in the video, was at the home of neighbor Alice Segobia with a different offer.

"He asked about new metering that was coming. Asked if I was the homeowner. I lied to get him out of the house, said I didn't own my home," said Segobia.

Segobia also abruptly said goodbye, so she never found out what he was after. But minutes later, the other man's COVID-19 test offer is one James Lee of the Identity Theft Resource Center is familiar with. He points to reports of door-to-door COVID testing scams a month ago, especially in the Midwest. Often, there is a promise of a test that never happens.

"What they're really after is personal information ... It ends up someone divulging credit or debit card information and nothing ever arrives," said Lee.

"To prey on people's fears at this time and to take advantage of them is a horrible thing to do," said Anna.

Anna did call police, but the men were gone by the time the officers arrived.

Anyone who encounter a similar door-to-door offer is asked to call Chula Vista Police at (619) 691-5151.