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Dishonest companies will do just about anything to make a buck. Take the FTC’s case against Adam J. Harmon and two companies he controls, Axis LED Group, LLC and ALG-Health LLC. According to the FTC’s complaint, the defendants told people that products they marketed and sold during the pandemic were made in the United States. In truth, their personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gowns, and gloves, and materials to make them were almost entirely imported.

Under the FTC’s Made in USA Labeling Rule, marketers making unqualified Made in USA claims on labels should be able to prove that their products are “all or virtually all” made in the United States. The rule also requires all “Made in USA” labels appearing in mail order catalogues and online to be truthful.

The agency’s proposed order will stop Harmon and his companies from making further deceptive Made in USA claims, and impose a civil penalty for their past deceptive claims.

Here’s some advice to help you decide if you want to do business with a seller.

  • If you’re shopping for a product, but aren’t familiar with the company that sells it, check it out before you buy. Search online for the product or company name, plus “complaint” or “scam” to see what other people are saying.
  • Consider customer reviews found on a wide variety of review and retailer sites, search engines, app stores, and social media platforms. If you use online reviews to help you make decisions, it pays to take some time and think critically about the source of the information.

If someone tries to cheat you, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

7 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Mary G Moser
August 11, 2022

Vey helpful.

Beth Herzhaft
August 11, 2022

Thank you for this article. While imported items aren’t necessarily inferior to items made locally, lying about their origins certainly is bad.

I hope the civil penalty is large enough to discourage him turning around and trying this again.

Kevin
August 11, 2022

Made in the USA vs Manufactured in the USA are very different statements. In addition, it can mean one thing to the consumer but to the government responsible for charging import tariffs it can be very different.

PTfromPNW
August 11, 2022

I see this a lot. Especially on Amazon and Walmart. It will say 'Made in the USA' and when I research the item I'll find that the idea was invented in the US but actually made and imported from other countries. Some have all the parts made overseas and then assemble the item in the US. That to me is not made in the USA. Am I right? How many complaints does is take before the FTC will look in to the product or company?

Isolde
August 11, 2022

I have often wondered about those Made in America claims. Informative article. Thanks

Elaine
August 11, 2022

Thank you for all you do for the public the older we get the more they try to scam us

Garush
August 19, 2022

Don't understand these marketing execs. Just be honest and if the people want the item they will still purchase it. Business schools need ethics.