N95 face masks have sold out online, and at local drug stores, the shelves where surgical masks used to be displayed, are now empty. While people around the world are panicking over the coronavirus, unsavory characters see the shortage of masks as an opportunity to scam consumers.
According to FOX – Coronavirus protection kits, T-shirts and face masks with knockoff logos from designers like Gucci and Supreme are being sold on e-commerce sites like Etsy and Amazon for hundreds of dollars as sellers capitalize on the pneumonia-causing virus that continues to spread globally.
Fake designer medical masks aren’t the only thing scammers are sending to unsuspecting consumers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have intercepted a package containing suspected fake COVID-19 test kits.
CBP officers assigned to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), International Mail Facility (IMF), intercepted a package containing suspected counterfeit COVID-19 test kits arriving from the United Kingdom.
On March 12, 2020, CBP officers discovered six plastic bags containing various vials, while conducting an enforcement examination of a parcel manifested as “Purified Water Vials” with a declared value of $196.81. A complete examination of the shipment led to the finding of vials filled with a white liquid and labeled “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit”. The shipment was turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for analysis.
“Protecting the health and safety of the American people is a top priority for CBP,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “This significant interception, at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of a National Emergency, demonstrates our CBP officers’ vigilance and commitment to ensure dangerous goods are intercepted and not a threat to our communities and our people.”
Authorized diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is conducted in verified state and local public health laboratories across the United States. The American public should be aware of bogus home testing kits for sale either online or in informal direct to consumer settings.