It’s very likely that you’ve already been through at least one quarantine in the last couple of years. By now, most of us are accustomed to sensibly avoiding Covid-19 exposure and by doing so avoiding the acute illness caused by the virus. The toilet paper hoarding and other stockpiling preparations that weren’t uncommon earlier in the pandemic have given way to more sensible action, like making sure to receive a complete dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. What you may not know though is that early in the pandemic, criminals saw an opportunity and started producing and distributing fake coronavirus test kits. Shortly after, that activity turned into others going on to produce and sell fake medicines, fake vaccination certificates, and fake Covid-19 rapid tests. Now some are even taking advantage of confused and frightened people that are taking medicines that should be obvious would be harmful to humans, such as veterinary Ivermectin.
“While we remain vigilant to protect our families and communities from COVID-19, some people might be tempted to buy or use questionable products that claim to help diagnose, treat, cure, and even prevent coronavirus disease.”‘Beware of Fraudulent Coronavirus Tests, Vaccines and Treatments’ – FDA.gov
The U.S. Federal Drug Administration is currently promoting a campaign to help the public spot and spare themselves from these criminal fraud and counterfeiting activities. The campaign includes warnings about illegal products that have no FDA approval and goes on to explain methods for how to spot fake coronavirus test kits, fake medicines, fake treatments, and even fake vaccines.
It wasn’t too long ago that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency also released their own statement detailing the interception of a package labeled “Purified Water Vials”. The contents of the package included vials filled with white liquid bearing a label that reads “Corona Virus 2019 (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit”. Counterfeiting operations work furtively and exceptionally quickly, but it’s often difficult to really understand their effectiveness without a tangible example. This case revealed by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol couldn’t be more timely in that regard.
“This significant interception, at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of a National Emergency, demonstrates our CBP officers’ vigilance and commitment to ensure dangerous goods are intercepted and not a threat to our communities and our people.” – Carlos Martel, Field Operations Director, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Scantrust has been helping companies with an anti-counterfeiting product designed to integrate into existing production lines and to be implemented quickly for several years. We hope that producers and distributors of legitimate coronavirus test kits, treatments, and personal protective equipment will increasingly take the step to add robust anti-counterfeiting features, like Scantrust secured QR codes, to their products. Applying anti-counterfeiting measures to goods and products critical to managing the pandemic and our health of can be done in several different ways and can also allow for other connected packaging benefits. Giving end-consumers a way to verify if goods are genuine or are part of what’s possible with connected packaging but it also opens up the possibility of tracking down and identifying the source of counterfeits and fraudulent products. This aids law enforcement and regulatory agencies that have the job of protecting billions of our fellow citizens from the kinds of risks posed by criminal businesses.
If you know of any business or organization that could benefit from an anti-counterfeiting solution or connected packaging, or you are yourself a part of such an organization, please reach out to Scantrust through our website, social media, or a phone call. All of these are open channels to reach us and we’re ready to help.
Read more about the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and their report on intercepting fake test kits.
Read the FDA article on counterfeit COVID-19 test kits and fraudulent vaccines and treatments.