3M Updates Ongoing Actions to Combat COVID-related Fraud
3M (News - Alert) is sharing results of the global efforts the company launched in March to combat fraud connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. 3M has worked with law enforcement authorities and partnered with ecommerce and technology companies to help protect the public against those exploiting the demand for critical 3M products.
"3M launched this ambitious effort to prevent and stop fraud at the same time as we have been rapidly increasing production of N95 respirators and other needed supplies to combat COVID-19," said Denise Rutherford, 3M Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs. "The schemes we shut down were not only unlawful, they also endangered lives and wasted precious time and resources by diverting buyers from legitimate sources of much-needed respirators. We will continue to partner with law enforcement and online retailers to take action against profiteers."
3M has created hotlines and websites around the world to report suspected fraud, and published N95 respirator pricing information to help customers avoid inflated prices.
3M's legal team members have investigated more than 4,000 reports globally of suspected fraud, counterfeiting, and price gouging. 3M has filed 18 lawsuits in 10 states and Canada. 3M has won 6 temporary restraining orders and 4 preliminary injunction orders from courts that halted defendants' unlawful actions. 3M has resolved cases when the defendants have agreed to immediately stop improper behavior. 3M has provided referrals to federal and state law enforcement officials, help that has led to criminal charges filed against several bad actors.
Online, 3M successfully secured the removal of more than 7,000 websites with fraudulent or counterfeit product offerings and more than 10,000 false or deceptive social media posts to date.
3M has not, and will not, increase the prices of its respirators as a result of the pandemic. Any damages we recover in lawsuits are donated to COVID-19 relief efforts at nonprofit organizations, including Direct Relief.
3M has launched a website that provides more information on these and othr 3M efforts to fight respirator fraud, counterfeiting, and price gouging. This website includes details of 3M's enforcement activities, tips on how to spot fraudulent product offers, counterfeits, and price gouging, expectations of 3M's authorized distributors, and information on different types of 3M respiratory products.
RECENT LEGAL ACTIONS
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 96,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M's creative solutions to the world's problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter (News - Alert) @3M or @3MNews.