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Some experience trouble ordering government COVID tests

Several people said when they tried to order kits, USPS said they had already been requested. Another warned of scammers trying to take advantage.

PORTLAND, Oregon — The official launch of the Biden administration’s website to order at home COVID tests went well for most people, but some KGW viewers reported troubles when they tried to place their orders.

Residents can order one kit containing four COVID tests per household, free of charge. Christina Todd from Hillsboro reported what now appears to be a somewhat common problem: when she went to submit the form, an error message popped up. 

“I filled out the form, I hit submit and the message I got back said the tests had already been ordered for my address,” she said.

But no one had ordered for her address.

"[It was] the first time I’d been on the website.”

RELATED: Washington state launching portal to deliver up to 5 free at-home COVID tests per household

There have been reports around the country that the government website had trouble with apartment buildings or condos that shared a common main address, but Todd lives in a single-family house.

She's immunocompromised and mostly stays home -- and she wants those tests. 

Ruth Langlois, from southeast Portland, had a similar experience.

“I got online, really easy to put your name and information. it shows no money involved, push go and then it said 'this household had already requested these tests,'” she said.

RELATED: Oregon's COVID numbers show difference between omicron, delta surges

Ruth is, like many, thrilled the government is undertaking the massive project, but also a bit discouraged over her first experience. 

“There’s just my husband and I and the dog, and he was gone all day so that wasn’t true. So I tried it again this morning and the same thing.”

The post office set up a contact form to help those who encounter problems. People can also call 1-800-ASKUSPS.

There also appear to be scammers out there, hoping to use the order system to rip people off.

RELATED: Feds are getting rid of new, unexpired COVID masks at government surplus auction

“Couple hours [after ordering the tests] I received another email that appeared to be from USPS, requesting that I confirm my delivery information," said Caitlin Shoquist. "So I clicked the link, not thinking too much of it because it looked just like the email I’d already received." 

Instead, the page asked for credit card information, which made Shoquist suspicious. 

“I immediately then texted my coworkers and said 'Did you get an email about having to pay a $3 fee?" And they all confirmed no.”

Shoquist took another look and spotted grammatical errors in that email that indicated it was likely a scam, and wanted to share her experience to warn others. 

Do you have a story idea or comment for Pat Dooris? Email him at pdooris@kgw.com