As 3M continues to fight the global pandemic from every angle and helps ensure a safe supply of needed personal protective equipment, 3M has expanded its region-specific resources to report and stop fraud around the world.
The company has launched an aggressive legal effort to stop profiteers who are attempting to take advantage of the demand for 3M products used by health care workers and first responders. Building on this work, 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 7,400 fraud reports globally, filed 19 lawsuits, and has been granted 9 temporary restraining orders and 7 preliminary injunctions. More than 13,500 false or deceptive social media posts, over 11,500 fraudulent e-commerce offerings and at least 235 deceptive internet addresses have been removed. 3M has been awarded damages or has received settlement payments in seven cases, with all proceeds being donated to COVID-19 related charities.
Highlights of global actions
3M has not, and will not, increase the prices of its respirators as a result of the pandemic. 3M is a global company with factories that produce respirators and other critical products needed to fight COVID-19 in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia.
To combat increased counterfeiting and online fraud during the COVID-19 outbreak, 3M is working with law enforcement and customs agencies in every region of the world.
3M is also engaged with many major e-marketplace operators to detect and disrupt fraudulent and counterfeit respirator offers, including Amazon, Alibaba, Mercadolibre, Lazada, eBay, Flipkart, Shopee, Made-in-China and several others.
- Since the pandemic began, 3M has worked with customs and law enforcement agencies around the world to seize approximately 3.5 million counterfeit respirators, either as the products are moving through customs or in targeted raids against suspected resellers and manufacturers of counterfeit products.
- 3M has engaged with law enforcement agencies to fight counterfeiting in more than 1,200 actions around the world.
- In Latin America, 3M has worked with customs agencies in more than 15 cases to seize counterfeit respirators being imported into the region from other parts of the world, with several of the seized consignments containing more than 10,000 counterfeit respirators.
- In the United Arab Emirates, 3M has worked with the police and the Department of Economic to seize over 600,000 counterfeit respirators.
- In Vietnam, a 3M investigation led to a raid and seizure of more than 150,000 counterfeit respirators. The Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Market Management Bureaus also seized the manufacturing equipment used to make the fake respirators.
- In Europe, 3M is fighting multiple cases of fraud involving bad actors using .nl, .uk and .pl domain names intended to deceive buyers with offers of nonexistent or fake 3M respirators. Other scams include using the names of 3M employees in fake invoices and certificates to claim a relationship to the company. 3M is taking legal action and is working with law enforcement through the European Union.
- In India, 3M is working with law enforcement agencies in multiple states to investigate and raid manufacturing operations producing counterfeit N95 respirators, and resellers offering counterfeit N95 respirators to the public, seizing fake products and holding bad actors responsible.
- In South Africa, 3M is investigating numerous cases of fraud and the sale of counterfeit respirators. In two recent cases, South African customs seized over 100,000 counterfeit 3M respirators.
These are just some examples of the many actions 3M is taking to stop and deter fraud to protect people around the world.