FBI Uncovers COVID-19 Scam

FBI Uncovers COVID-19 Scam

(FinancialHealth.net) – The COVID-19 pandemic is causing medical supply shortages across the country. Healthcare workers on the frontlines are especially short on personal protective equipment (PPE). As a result, states are trying to acquire the gear from wherever they can, which has led to at least one large scam.

On March 26, California’s Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West announced they’d found 39 million N95 masks from an overseas supplier. The federal government began looking into whether or not they could seize the masks from the state using the Defense Production Act. When the FBI began investigating, they learned the masks didn’t exist.

US Attorney Scott Brady of the Western District of Pennsylvania told the LA Times a Pittsburgh businessman claimed he was going to get the masks for the state. According to the unidentified man, he was using WhatsApp to speak to a Kuwaiti supplier and Australian broker to secure the PPE. The two foreigners are being investigated; Brady said the businessman was not in trouble and it seems as though he was also duped.

The scam is definitely a setback. Healthcare workers could need the PPE to keep themselves safe. However, the federal government has a plan that could help.

On April 12, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization allowing the decontamination of N95 masks. The order laid out clear instructions on how to do it.

The federal and state governments want to keep people safe. Now they’re fighting both a deadly illness and scammers who are trying to take advantage of desperate people. It’s infuriating. Fortunately, our leaders are continuing to find resourceful ways to help America’s healthcare workers.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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