Government investigating massive counterfeit N95 mask scam

Virus Outbreak Counterfeit Masks

This December 2020 image provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows a counterfeit N95 surgical mask that was seized by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Federal investigators are probing a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities, and government agencies and expect the number to rise significantly in coming weeks. The fake 3M masks are at best a copyright violations and at worst unsafe fakes that put unknowing health care workers at grave risk for coronavirus. And they are becoming increasingly difficult to spot. (ICE via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal authorities are investigating a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation in which fake 3M masks were sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies.

The foreign-made knockoffs are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and could put health care workers at grave risk for the coronavirus. A federal official says these masks are giving first responders “a false sense of security.”

Nearly a year into the pandemic, fraud remains a major problem as scammers seek to exploit hospitals and desperate and weary Americans. These schemes deliver phony products, unlike fraud earlier in the pandemic that focused more on fleecing customers.

Categories: Coronavirus, Crime, National News