The Department of Homeland Security has seized more than 11 million counterfeit N95 masks from five states, with authorities saying that suspected victims of this scam include hospitals and medical facilities in at least 12 states, says CBSNews. An initial criminal investigation revealed China to be the source of the fake masks purportedly made by U.S. manufacturer 3M, said Steve Francis, director of the Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, which is led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s investigative arm Homeland Security Investigations. “They’re extremely dangerous,” Francis told reporters. “They’re providing a false sense of security to our first-line responders, to American consumers.”
Buying directly from 3M and the company’s authorized suppliers was secure but those who went through outside suppliers were exposing themselves to possible fraud, said Francis. Officials declined to provide further details about the seizures, citing the continuing investigation. The department is expected to make arrests in the counterfeit scam, according to The New York Times.