ST. PAUL, Minn., June 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- 3M (NYSE: MMM) 3M has worked with the U.S. Marshals Service in the Eastern District of Kentucky to stop the sale of more than one million suspected fake N95 respirators, as part of the company's continuing global effort to combat pandemic fraud, counterfeiting, and price gouging.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky granted 3M a temporary restraining order stopping defendant Old World Timber, LLC from selling counterfeit products. 3M then worked with the U.S. Marshals Service to seize more than one million respirators.
"3M will continue to take action against those who sell fake products and put lives at risk during the pandemic, and we appreciate the prompt action by the U.S. Marshals Service and the court to help protect unsuspecting customers," said Kevin Rhodes, 3M senior vice president and deputy general counsel. "We will continue to offer our resources to check suspicious offers and get counterfeit products off the market."
The case originated when potential customers contacted 3M's fraud hotlines (1-800-426-8688 in the U.S. or www.3m.com/covidfraud) to check the authenticity of sales documents from Old World Timber. 3M investigated and determined the documents and products were fake.
Since the pandemic began, 3M has seized more than 41 million counterfeit N95 respirators in collaboration with law enforcement and customs agencies around the world.
3M has established hotlines around the world to report suspected fraud and has created online resources to help spot price-gouging, identify authentic 3M respirators and ensure products are from 3M authorized distributors.
3M has investigated more than 14,000 fraud reports to its hotlines globally, and has filed 36 lawsuits to stop those attempting to profiteer from the pandemic demand for critical supplies.
Online, 3M has removed more than 20,000 false or deceptive social media posts, over 21,000 fraudulent e-commerce offers and at least 315 deceptive domain names have been taken down.
3M is donating all of the monetary damages and settlement payments it receives in these cases to COVID-19 related charities.
3M has created resources to get the facts about authentic PPE and avoid counterfeit scams at www.3m.com/covidfraud. If you have any questions whether respirators you've purchased or are thinking about purchasing are authentic, 3M is here to help.
- Counterfeit respirators are made by criminals trying to deceive customers. These counterfeits do not come from 3M and are not made using 3M's robust quality controls.
- Counterfeit respirators are not tested and approved like authentic 3M respirators. Instead, counterfeit respirators are made by unknown fraudsters, using unknown processes and materials, with unknown or nonexistent quality controls.
- As a result, counterfeit respirators cannot be trusted and should not be purchased or used.
3M recognized the challenge of COVID-19 and responded early and rapidly to provide critical supplies needed to fight the pandemic. 3M increased production of N95 and other respirators critical for doctors, nurses and first responders, quadrupling the U.S. and global production rate. 3M is helping to protect lives through innovative products and technologies across a wide range of industries, and helping prepare the world for next global challenge.