Man charged with selling fake COVID-19 testing kits

A 59-year-old man from West Sussex has been remanded in custody, charged with making and selling fake testing kits for COVID-19.

Frank Ludlow was arrested by officers from the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit at a post officer near his home. They were following up a lead from US investigators who intercepted a package containing 60 separate fake testing kits originating from the UK.

On searching Ludlow’s home, 300 more kits and 20 litres of chemicals were found. He was charged with fraud offences, appeared in court on Saturday and has now been remanded in custody until 20th April.

Tariq Sarwar, Head of Operations for Enforcement at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: “We are committed to working together with national and international partners to protect public health and prevent unsafe medicines and medical devices getting to the public. “This joint cooperation and intervention with the City of London Police and the FDA resulted in products claiming to be COVID-19 treatment kits being taken out of circulation, that otherwise could have endangered patients’ health.

“We are encouraging people with health concerns to seek advice from a registered healthcare professional and only purchase medicines they need from an authorised seller. You should ensure you are buying your medicines and medical devices from a registered pharmacy or website only. “When buying online, beware of illegitimate websites, suspicious URLs and remember that claims like ‘100% safe, no side effects’ or ‘quick results’, are often warning signs. Cut prices and speedy deliveries can expose you to fake medicines, identity theft and fraud.”

Conflict International specialises in assisting you and your business in detecting external threats to security. Our experts warn that uncertainty and fear around the virus can encourage more people to click on fake emails than may otherwise be the case. The clear message is cyber criminals don’t discriminate and always look for opportunities, so be careful and vigilant at all times when opening any email and never click on a link if you are unsure.

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