Beware these coronavirus face mask scams

Virus Outbreak Illinois
ASSOCIATED PRESS

You know how tough it is to find masks and other protective gear for sale. Stores have been sold out for months. Then why is it every time you get on your phone, ads for respirator masks and hand sanitizer pop up?

The CDC is now recommending we wear masks when grocery shopping, and New York and several states are now requiring it. Unless you are able to make your own, however, or wear a scarf over your face, masks are harder to come by than toilet paper right now.

But on your phone, on Facebook, Instagram or news sites, there seems to be an endless stream of ads for masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer. But before you click and order them, buyer beware.

Many online ads fail to deliver

The consumer site PissedConsumer.com has dozens of complaints about face mask rip-offs.

One shopper said he “ordered 2 Coronavirus Face Masks. Paid $100. A month later I received 3 paper face mask sent from Korea.”

From another: “I ordered 5 N95 masks for $120. They sent me 5 paper masks. The customs declaration lists the value as just $5. A total scam.”

And from the “doesn’t that stink” file, fake masks and hand sanitizer that doesn’t even arrive.

PissedConsumer quotes one shopper who says: “I spent $199 for N95 masks. No response whatsoever for my order, shipping, or tracking.”

Others report ordering hand sanitizer from online ads, and ending up with goop with Chinese writing on the bottle, with no way of knowing if it would protect against anything,

Remember: True N95 respirator masks need to go to health care workers, so please don’t waste your money trying to track some down.

Wear a dust mask, a scarf or bandana, or make your own, so you don’t waste your money.

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John Matarese
John Matarese

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