April 3, 2020 -- Scammers are sneaking counterfeit N95 masks into the supply chain and taking money for masks they don't have.
N95 masks -- considered to be the best respirator masks-- are in short supply worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic and fraudsters are taking advantage and putting lives at risk, CNN reported.
Two leading N95 mask manufacturers issued fraud warnings after they received complaints about scammers trying to sell nonexistent masks.
Counterfeit masks are also a problem and some have already made it to the front lines in the U.S. After receiving a batch of 1,000 N95 masks a few weeks ago from a trusted longtime vendor, Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, N.J. determined they were fake, CNN reported.
The hospital is currently treating 144 patients for COVID-19 and has tested 1,440 people in total.
"We have a policy of having our clinicians test a small sample of medical equipment like masks before we give it to our staff," Jessica Griffin, the hospital's director of public relations, told CNN.
"These masks did not fit the face area properly," and did not have the specific U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approval label required on N95 masks, she said.