3M launches aggressive legal effort to tackle sale of fraudulent PPE products during pandemic

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3M Co. said Monday it has launched an aggressive legal effort to prevent the sale of fraudulent personal protective equipment products during the coronavirus pandemic. The diversified industrial company and maker of Post-it notes said it has established hotlines around the world and is working with local law enforcement to stop profiteers seeking to take advantage of demand for its products during the pandemic. 3M is a major manufacturer of face masks and N95 masks and other equipment. The company has investigated more than 7,700 fraud reports globally, filed 19 lawsuits and been granted nine temporary restraining orders and seven preliminary injunctions, it said in a release. “More than 13,500 false or deceptive social media posts, over 11,500 fraudulent e-commerce offerings and at least 235 deceptive domain names have been removed,” the company said. “3M has been awarded damages or has received settlement payments in seven cases, with all proceeds being donated to COVID-19 related charities.” The company also said it has not plans to raise the prices of its respirators as a result of the pandemic. Shares rose 0.7% premarket, but have fallen 9% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.6%.
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