Coronavirus Mask: Paranoia and the Scam That Followed
Coronavirus Mask Scam: Report a Scammer
The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic a while ago and scammers have been making a fortune selling related COVID-19 products, inclusing masks. Have you encountered any criminals yet? If yes, feel free to expose them in the Comments section at the end. We have a few names already exposed (including fake air filter sales and service scams), so please contribute if you witnessed any deceptive practices. Let's dive into the scam.
Millions of masks are being now sold online like hot items. The situation becomes more serious by the hour, up to date over 160,000 deaths being reported until today. The announcement was made by WHO after a shocking discovery that even people showing no symptoms appear to be able to spread the virus. It's time to educate ourselves not only on the implications and the symptoms but also about the newest scams that have surfaced in the last few days. Let's take a look.
Watch the video below to find out what the Coronavirus symptoms are and ways to avoid it:
However, whenever there is a major international event, crisis or tragedy, scammers come into the game by taking advantage of the situation in order to make a quick buck. Or a lot, in this case. A bunch of websites popped out online in the last few days selling "Coronavirus face masks". The fake sites present images of regular surgical masks, along with tag lines mentioning powerful air filters efficiently blocking the virus. In reality, victims submit their credit card numbers and get nothing in return.
Crooks also create a sense of emergency piggy-backing on the already establised worldwide paranoia, trying to get absolutely everyone to purchase a mask online.
In other cases, the masks and the overnight 'companies' that sell them really do exist, but the masks are nothing but pieces of fabric non-compliant with any medical regulation. Most of the scammers were found in Hong Kong, where 68,000 fake masks were confiscated from dubious sellers after more than 3,000 of them were sold at $129US a pop!
If you are traveling and are just about to buy one, beware.
Do Surgical Masks Really Work?
Another important thing is that many specialists agree that surgical face masks cannot block airborne viruses from entering your body. For that purpose, you need a respirator, which is a tight-fitting protective device worn around the face – and that is a N95 respirator.
These guys are hard to find because many brands have left the market. However, if you live near a major brand store like Walmart, Target or CVS you may try your luck there.
For more general information, the coronavirus is called 2019-nCov and is part of a group of viruses that includes both the common cold and the deadly SARS. It was first identified in Wuhan, China. This present coronavirus is spread through coughing, sneezing or contact with a sick person. If worn correctly and combined with other virus-prevention methods, a respirator can help lower the risk that you catch the disease. However, there is more.
How Do You Protect Yourself From Coronavirus
How do you prevent yourself from getting the virus? There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, there are preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
– Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
– Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
– Stay home when you are sick.
What Is a Global Health Emergency
What does a global health emergency of international concern mean? It is a formal declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of "an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other states through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response", formulated when a situation arises that is "serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected", which "carries implications for public health beyond the affected State's national border" and "may require immediate international action".
Coronavirus Mask Scam: How To Report
Warn your family and friends about the Coronavirus Mask Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodic emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.