United States federal agents have seized about 10 million fake N95 face masks bearing the 3M logo after raids on warehouses and facilities across the country in recent weeks.
3M is approved by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to supply hospitals and other health facilities with the N95 in the U.S.A.
However, as the pandemic intensified and facemasks became scarce, counterfeiters and fraudsters took advantage of the situation to supply hospitals with fake and counterfeit N95 facemasks suspected to be manufactured in China.
On Wednesday, federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security seized a large consignment of facemasks from a warehouse in East Coast.
Hospitals have been advised by health safety officials to stop buying the fake masks as they do not come through 3M’sregular distributors.
However, hospitals and medical facilities have occasionally purchased in bulk from outside the supply chain, especially during shortages of facemasks giving the counterfeiters and fraudsters opportunities to enter the supply system.
Health safety officials have also advised hospitals to visit the 3M’swebsite for tips on how to spot fake N95 facemasks. Seizures of about $33 million worth of fake products have been made, and more than 200 people arrested.