Warning for Texans: Fraudsters are selling counterfeit, mislabeled or non-existent PPE

(Louis Brems, Courtesy of University of Florida)

As the demand for personal protection equipment (PPE) grows, some suppliers are taking advantage of the national crisis.

The Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is warning the public of scammers advertising masks and other COVID-19 related equipment they do not actually have an inventory of in an attempt to make a quick profit.

According to the office, these products may be counterfeit and mislabeled, or non-existent.

As fraudulent schemes continue, consumers urged to exercise increased caution when dealing with new suppliers, especially when using a third-party broker, the Office of Texas Attorney General says.

Red flags that a sale may be fraudulent include:

  • Unusual payment terms
  • Last-minute price changes
  • Last-minute excuses for delay in shipment
  • Unexplained source of a large quantity of material
  • Evidence of re-packaging or mislabeling

Texans who believe they have encountered scams or price gouging should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online.

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