Last week 3M and Amazon announced that they had reached a resolution regarding the selling of overpriced, fake, defective, and damaged N95 Respirators on Amazon being falsely advertised ender 3M Brand. According to Amazon through collaboration, they will put a stop to the fraudulent scheme and pursue legal action against the defendants. The $192,000 recovered from the defendants will be donated to Direct Relief’s non-profit work to Provide PPE to health workers.
Fraudulent items on marketplaces can be damaging not only to buyers who end up with unsafe products but also to legitimate sellers who lose business from the lure of what buyers think are safe items during a time when they are vulnerable and impulse buying. Victims lose trust in marketplaces and begin to label all sellers under the same category despite most providing completely legitimate services.
“3M customers deserve authentic products at fair prices, and this scam is aimed at exploiting the demand for our critical products during the pandemic using 3M’s name connected with price gouging and counterfeiting,”
– Denise Rutherford, 3M Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs
We can perhaps question Amazon’s current vetting policy for PPE sellers and how online marketplaces are dealing with the demand for various products that are clearly causing a rise in scams, fakes, and frauds. According to 3M they have secured the removal of over 7,000 listings with fraudulent or counterfeit product offerings from e-commerce platforms around the world and over 10,000 false or deceptive social media posts to date. The first takedown of listings misusing the 3M brand name on 3 meter products clearly didn’t deter the fraudsters. 3M have also filed 18 lawsuits to combat fraud, price gouging and counterfeiting in the U.S. and Canada to put a stop to unlawful profiteering from the pandemic in 3M’s name.
“There is no place for counterfeiting or price gouging on Amazon and we’re proud to be working with 3M to hold these bad actors accountable,”
– Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon Vice President, Customer Trust and Partner Support