The Portland Police Bureau White Collar Crime detail wants to raise awareness of potential fraud schemes related to the COVID-19 Outbreak and global high demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Many schemes will attempt to capitalize on the high demand, low supply of PPE such as N95 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirator masks.
The FBI has identified the follow proactive measures to help avoid falling victim:
- If ordering PPE from online retailers, always verify the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and confirm “https” in the web address, a lack of security certification (“https”) may be an indicator that the site is insecure or compromised (after all you will be putting Personal Identifying Information (PII)and financial info in the site for shipment and payment)
- Consult U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) NIOSH website to view a list of all NIOSH approved manufactures of N95 respirators and masks https://www.cdc.gov/
- Be wary of unprompted solicitations to purchase large quantities of PPE and do not provide usernames, passwords, personal identifying information (PII) such as social security number and date of birth, or financial information in response to an email or robo-calls ( I just received an unsolicited email saying I was approved for $1,500,000 from Warren Buffett’s foundation).
If you believe you or your organization purchased counterfeit PPE or COVID-19 testing kits, or were the victim of fraud or a scam please contact law enforcement to make a report.
Reports can be made Portland Police Bureau White Collar Crime, your local FBI Field Office, Internet Crimes Complaint Center at IC3.gov, and/or the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at IPRCenter.gov.
For information regarding PPE masks and their appropriate markings NIOSH website at https://cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/default.html