CHICAGO – Customs agents have seized more than 1,000 prohibited COVID-19 testing kits at Chicago’s O’Hare International Aiport, officials said Friday.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have seen an increase in unapproved or counterfeit COVID-19 tests being shipped through the mail system. At the Chicago O’Hare’s International Mail Facility, which processes 20% of all the international mail coming into the United States, CBP has seized 11 shipments containing 1,147 prohibited test kits worth $10,847. Most of the kits seized came from Great Britain.

Customs officials say criminals are smuggling and selling counterfeit safety equipment, unapproved testing kits, medicines, and hygiene products to individuals.

The public should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal-direct-to-consumer settings and the dangers that they may pose if not administered by medical professionals, U.S. Customs officials said in a news release.

Customs agents have seized prohibited products at other facilites in the midwest, including Louisville, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis.