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Watch out for these COVID-19 scams

The KVUE Defenders found several ways thieves and con artists try to get your money.

AUSTIN, Texas — July 2021 warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration show 15 businesses are accused of selling fraudulent items related to COVID-19. The items include two businesses accused of importing altered hand sanitizer into the U.S.

Several online businesses are accused of misrepresenting supplements as COVID-19 cures or prevention medicine. 

Most of those warnings went to websites accused of selling fake respirators and surgical masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website shows all respirators, like the N95, should show “NIOSH” and have an approval number.

The CDC website shows, “Signs that a respirator may be counterfeit:

  • No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator

  • No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband

  • No NIOSH markings

  • NIOSH spelled incorrectly

  • Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)

  • Claims of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)

  • Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands”

A Florida woman is in jail, accused of selling “COVID-19 immunization pellets” and fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine cards.

The Department of Justice website shows the woman “instructed the complainant family to mark the cards to falsely state that they received the Moderna vaccine on the date that they ingested the COVID-19 homeoprophylaxis immunization pellets.”

The DOJ also warns to never pay for a COVID-19 vaccine. The DOJ will prosecute anyone who is authorized to give the vaccine and requires a payment.

If you have any information about a provider or pharmacy charging for the COVID-19 vaccine, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit www.Medicare.Gov/Medicarecomplaintform.


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