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Beware of medical exam glove scams

We received an email from one of our glove partners last week. In this unprecedented time there are some who are willing to take advantage of people and businesses. We have seen it even with our own customers. Know who you are working with! Below is the body of the email.

In recent weeks there have been several reports of US distributors falling victim to glove scams. Collectively, these companies have lost several hundred thousand dollars on these scams. 

As we all know, the glove industry is oversold. Manufacturers do not have enough production capacity to fill demand. Worse, nitrile dipping latex production capacities are now maxed out. It’s difficult for manufacturers to obtain sufficient raw material. There is a severe shortage and no manufacturer has any excess production. Their existing customers are standing in line to buy. 

As a result, the only plentiful things in the glove business today are SCAMS. Please be aware that glove scams are rampant, and they have become a significant problem.

We see dozens of scam emails every day. All of them refer to large quantities of product, usually “millions of boxes” of gloves. This product is unlikely to exist. If the source of the offer is a party you do not know, it’s extremely unlikely there are any gloves available. Particularly if the offer is telling you there is an ongoing “monthly” quantity available. There isn’t.    

THERE ARE NO LARGE QUANTITIES OF GLOVES AVAILABLE TO BUY

Scammers have been presented with a perfect opportunity to take advantage of desperation, and it is easy for them to find interested parties. These pop-up companies offer gloves that they never intend to deliver. They disappear as soon as the deposit has been paid.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE COMPANY, DON’T SEND THEM MONEY

The following is an excerpt from an email exchange with one of our primary suppliers discussing an offer that had been sent to one of our customers:  

“We have seen it all, LC, money into escrow account, bank directly into factory accounts; but all of them will change the mode of payment midway into negotiation after deposit. There is absolutely no reason for us to supply via 3rd party. We have the resources to reach our customers. Why would we go through a 3rd party to sell gloves?  I can assure you 99.99% of these offers are fake. There might be possibility of reselling of old stocks into the international market but the quantity cannot be in the millions of boxes…and certainly not facilitated by any of the major glove manufacturers.  Also, all our distributors in Malaysia are barred from re-exporting.

Also think about this…most of these offers are in the millions of boxes. You know there is no way we or any manufacturer can offer this and continue to support our customers and you know this perfectly well as we are still supplying you. 30m boxes or 3B of gloves deliver over 5 months is a huge quantity. To date we have seen more than 150 of these offers….they are brought to our attention by our customers or from people reaching out to us to do verification.”

The above exchange was in late July. They had already seen over 150 separate scams at that point. 

  • In June, the Royal Thai Police raided a warehouse in Bangkok that was re-packing used gloves. Yes – you read that right – there are operations re-boxing USED gloves.
  • There are multiple examples of non-medical, and/or used gloves being packed in counterfeit medical glove boxes. Counterfeiting is becoming an increasingly big problem and there’s no telling what is actually in the box. In Asia it’s very easy to print whatever you want, so they print counterfeit boxes of products commonly sold in North America.  
  • There are no “manufacturer consortiums” offering millions of boxes.  We have seen several versions of that particular scam. No manufacturer needs any help selling product right now, and, as we mentioned before, there are no large quantities of gloves available to sell.
  • If you get a video showing you thousands of cases of gloves as proof that the product exists, look at those cases carefully. You’ll probably notice something odd. For instance, if the word “Disposable” is used where you should see the word “Exam”, those are not medical grade gloves.

Please be aware and use extreme caution when vetting these offers. Almost all of them are scams. If a known glove company is offering you product, buy it. If you don’t know the company offering you gloves, please assume it’s a scam and don’t prepay anything. 

Wishing you well,

The IHC Team

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