By Nathan J Anderson on Mar 19, 2020 1:41:58 PM
At this moment you’re probably self-isolating at home, like most people, or otherwise taking steps for avoiding exposure to the pandemic on everyone’s lips. Sure, it’s not literally on everyone’s lips, one would hope, but it would be hard to argue that there isn’t a media organization on the planet that isn’t covering the reaction and, of course, the panic. You’ve heard about the toilet paper hoarding that has been going on for weeks with people all over stockpiling in preparation for their self-quarantines and isolations. There’s also the news that even the testing kits to identify infection are available but in insufficient quantities. But you may not have heard about the fast moving criminals that are already distributing counterfeit test kits, taking advantage of concerns and measures being taken to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency released a statement detailing their interception of a package labeled “Purified Water Vials”. The contents of the package included vials filled with a white liquid and with labels that read “Corona Virus 2019nconv (COVID-19)” and “Virus1 Test Kit”. It’s been clear for some time now that counterfeiting operations work furtively and exceptionally quickly, but it’s often difficult to really understand their effectiveness without a tangible example. The case revealed by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol couldn’t be more timely or visceral: it’s no exaggeration that the lives of millions of people depend on how well we identify and treat victims of this virus.
“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
Our company’s responsibility in reaction to this situation is a unique one. While we’ve taken care to support and ensure the best for our own staff, we still have a job to do for everyone else and it just so happens to be a job that we’re especially good at: protecting goods from being counterfeited. Our solution for anti-counterfeiting is easy to implement into existing production lines and can be spun up very, very quickly to a large degree because of that. That’s why members of our team are right now reaching out to producers and distributors of legitimate COVID-19 test kits so that they can apply ScanTrust secure QR codes to their test kits. With our solution applied to test kits, we will be able to make a significant contribution to the safety of people everywhere, all over the world, and in an expeditious fashion: every single day counts at this point.
And because there are criminals that will still try to take advantage of this global crisis, we would be remiss to mention that the ScanTrust team is personally angered by the brash and particularly careless behavior of these counterfeiters. That’s why it’s important to know that once our secure QR codes are on test kits, or any other critical goods or products, scans of attempted forgeries will also give us the potential to track down and find these counterfeiters, so that law enforcement agencies will bring them to justice for the line that they’ve crossed, and for their bold disregard for putting millions of our fellow citizens at risk.
If you know of any business or organization working to get us through this crisis safely, or you are a part of such an organization, our website, social media, or a phone call are all open channels to reach us. We’re ready to help.
Read more about the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and their report on intercepting fake test kits here.