Thousands of counterfeit face masks worth $1.4M found in Louisville

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COVID-19 graphic(Source: CDC via AP)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 3:23 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A shipment with thousands of counterfeit designer face masks was detained in Louisville.

The shipment from Vietnam contained 5,789 masks and was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers this week before it continued to its destination to a home in North Carolina.

The masks were made to look like masks from designers such as Coach, Tory Burch and Chanel.

“On a daily basis, criminals try to send fake designer products in hopes of disrupting our economy,” Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville, said. “These masks were inspected and found to be counterfeit. Our officers are highly trained by industry experts and will continue to seize these items to protect consumers and other industries.”

Officials said if the masks were real, they would have been worth $1.4 million.

CBP also announced it seized 10,080 counterfeit surgical masks in Cincinnati on Friday. Officials there said the interception prevents potentially dangerous and faulty masks from being distributed to frontline medical personnel.

How To Spot A Real Mask

Those at Norton Healthcare note wearing a mask will still be important for months to come.

“A mask is not a substitute for social distancing,” Stacy Cohen, a Norton Healthcare RN, said. “I see that a lot. We’ve been wearing mask since March or April of last year. I feel that a lot of people are accustom to wearing masks, but we should always keep in mind that a mask is not a substitute for social distancing.”

Norton officials shared some tips to make sure you pick a good mask, and use it properly:

  • Find a mask that fits snug
  • Use a mask that has multiple layers
  • If using a cloth mask, change or wash masks between use
  • Neck gaiters and winter gear may be thin or able to provide adequate protection

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