CALGARY -- When victims are called by criminals using this scheme, the alarm caused by a potential COVID-19 infection is often enough to make them go along with the idea.

Reports of the COVID-19 test scam often involve callers pretending to be government representatives telling the victim they've come into contact with a contagious case.

They're told to get tested within a short time frame but that there is an "easy" testing kit that can be mailed out.

Once the victim hands over their address, that's when the scammers up their game and ask for payment for the kit.

If the caller refuses, the person on the other line tells them it's urgent for them to be tested and threatens penalties if they don't go along with the demands.

While the Better Business Bureau (BBB) says there haven't been an official reports of this type of scam to them, they are aware it exists and say it's a threat to anyone who is unaware.

"We caution Albertans to be vigilant," says Shawna-Kay Thomas, marketing and communications lead with the BBB serving southern Alberta and east Kootenay in an email to CTV News.

"Be sure to do your research and see if a government agency or organization actually exists. Find contact information on your own and call them to be sure the person you’ve heard from is legitimate."

She adds there are much safer, much cheaper and much more legitimate ways to get tested if you're concerned you may have contracted COVID-19.

"If people want to do a test they should talk with their doctor or check out the Alberta Health Services website for information on testing availability."