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Fighting Respirator Fraud, Counterfeiting, and Price Gouging

At 3M, we are committed to help combat fraudulent activity in connection with 3M products and the COVID-19 pandemic.

3M Enforcement Activities

  • To help combat COVID-19 related fraud, 3M has established new 3M hotlines in the U.S. and around the world to help end-users and purchasers of 3M products identify authentic 3M respirators and ensure products are from 3M authorized distributors. 3M has published the current U.S. list prices for many of the most common models of 3M N95 respirators to help customers identify and avoid inflated prices. We have also filed lawsuits in courts across the country against wrongdoers, terminated 3M distributors for engaging in price gouging or violating 3M policy and collaborated with law enforcement and technology companies to combat fraud.

Stay current on 3M's enforcement efforts

Watch this interview with 3M Director, Assistant General Counsel, Personal Safety Division, Dan O'Connor as he explains more about 3M's actions to fight fraud, counterfeiting and price gouging tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Counterfeit Alerts

Read the latest on increasing reports of counterfeiting and fraud involving 3M respirators.

Important facts about counterfeit respirators
Important facts about counterfeit respirators

Don’t assume you can tell how well a respirator works by looking at it, or that a counterfeit respirator could substitute. 3M respirators are designed to be easy to use but the science and quality manufacturing that makes them effective are not so easy. Don’t endanger yourself or others by making the mistake of thinking that fake respirators look ok so they must work ok.

  • Counterfeit respirators are made by criminals trying to deceive customers. These counterfeits do not come from 3M and are not made using 3M’s robust quality controls.
  • Counterfeit respirators are not tested and approved like authentic 3M respirators. Instead, counterfeit respirators are made by unknown fraudsters, using unknown processes and materials, with unknown or nonexistent quality controls.
  • As a result, counterfeit respirators cannot be trusted and should not be purchased or used.

The best way to avoid counterfeit respirators is to purchase 3M respirators from 3M authorized distributors. Do not rely on 3M authorized distributor certificates, which are often falsified. If you have any question whether respirators you’ve purchased or are thinking about purchasing are authentic, 3M is here to help.


Get the Facts

Spot Fraudulent Offers, Counterfeit Products and Price Gouging

To help identify fraud, counterfeiting, and price gouging in connection with 3M's Respiratory Protection products, review these resources to get the facts on 3M's practices, products, and prices.

  • View information on how to identify fraudulent offers
    Fraudulent Offers

    To help identify fraudulent offers, review this list of common schemes that do not match 3M's practices.

  • View information on how to identify counterfeit 3M products
    Counterfeit Products

    To help avoid counterfeit products, review this list of suggestions and 3M product indications.

  • View information on how to identify price gouging
    Price Gouging

    To help identify and avoid inflated prices, consult 3M's list prices for common 3M N95 respirator models sold in the U.S.

Report a Concern

For help detecting fraud or avoiding counterfeit products, please contact your local fraud hotline.

Additional Resources

  • Current Myths and Misconceptions
    1. 3M does not maintain or endorse a “blacklist” for 3M respiratory protection products.
    2. 3M does not cobrand disposable nitrile gloves with any other company, including Cardinal Health. 3M does not sell disposable nitrile gloves in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, or many other countries.
    3. 3M does not use the email address

    For more information on fraud, counterfeiting, and price-gouging of 3M respirators, consult the resources linked above or contact the 3M Fraud Hotline.

  • Expectations of 3M Authorized Distributors

    Read a communication to all 3M Authorized Safety and Industrial Distributors highlighting 3M’s requirements for sales of 3M respiratory protection products.

    Distributor letter (December 2020) (PDF, 55.4 KB)

    Distributor letter (May 2020) (PDF, 64.5 KB)

    Distributor letter (March 2021) (PDF, 58.2 KB)

  • Personal Protective Equipment

    Proper selection and use are key to utilizing respirators to help reduce exposure to airborne contaminants. Find Technical Bulletins, How to Videos, Fit Testing Resources and more information to help you protect your employees and yourself.

    Learn more about Covid-19 and Personal Protective Equipment

Infographic data

  • 3M is fighting respiratory protection fraud, globally, every day. 3M has investigated more than 16,100 cases globally, filed 40 lawsuits, and has been granted 21 temporary restraining orders and 16 preliminary injunctions. 3M, in partnership with multiple international law enforcement agencies, has also seized over 52 million counterfeit respirators. In addition, 25,700+ false or deceptive social media posts have been removed, 28,000+ fraudulent e-commerce offerings have been removed, and 400+ deceptive internet addresses or content have been removed.