Health administrations such as the WHO is on the front foot to combat COVID-19 pandemic from the very beginning. The administration is preparing everyone on how to protect themselves from the viral infection. Two things that are highly in demand, as a result, are hand sanitizers and face masks.
The Scam with PPE
There have been too many advertisements revolving around masks and sanitizers during this time. But sometimes they are not for the good of mankind. Unscrupulous traders are out there in disguise of disposable Face Mask supplier and duping innocent people.
Recently, there has been an uptick in false advertisements on popular social networking, selling masks, hand sanitizer, and other essential goods. In the market, these items are low in supply and high in demand. The opportunists are not are feeding the public with fear and using it to promote business.
For their benefit, they are employing the public’s fears for COVID-19. Customers, scared for life are accepting to purchase these masks and alcohol hand sanitizers at inflated prices. These dishonest businesses are capitalizing on the public goodwill by claiming to donate masks to hospitals in need with every purchase.
The question is unanswered whether these products are duly delivered to the buyers in need. Unrecognized N95 mask manufacturers are exploiting the demand and trading these commodities at an abnormally high selling price. Not only do they draw substantial profit but also they deprive medical professionals and others of accessing these much-needed supplies.
For example, New York’s governor stated that face masks at 58 cents each are now sold at $7.50. This is not the only instance. There are other reports across the globe where Hand sanitizer suppliers are charging exorbitantly or duping people online.
Steps Taken By Social Network Giants
Facebook, the social network mogul with billions of active users made a striking announcement to curb malpractices during COVID-19. The authorities issued a complete ban of ads and listings on its online platform regarding the trading of medical face masks. Unscrupulous face mask suppliers in India initially did not take this announcement seriously.
The policy change that was initiated by Rob Leathern took some time to become effective globally. Leathern additionally announced that ads for PPE including alcohol hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, and test kits are also banned. Several tweets of it, from the heads for Facebook ads and business platform, did rounds in twitter. But ads continued to show up on Facebook as late as March 26.
The latest and evolving social network site, Instagram, shows similar swindled cases as well. Instagram feeds of several users showed fake ads and posts of N95 mask manufacturer on Friday, March 20. Each sponsored post in a user’s Instagram Feed had a link with masks such as N95 masks, surgical masks, etc.
Some of the advertisements are subtle in their reference to COVID-19. The clever suppliers talk about safeguarding oneself from “harmful particles”. They urge users to stay shielded using their N95 masks.
Disposable Face Mask supplier says these masks are fake and cannot imply a connection to COVID-19. The advertisements were not just limited to Instagram posts. Many users shared them in their Instagram Stories as well. Multiple social media accounts using identical video advertisements make this a greater problem than the pandemic.
Instagram vs. Facebook advertisers
It is true that to post an ad in Instagram one does not necessarily need an Instagram account. Facebook advertisers can sponsor such posts on Instagram. Using the Facebook Ads Manager, advertisers can push advertisements to Instagram.
When a user clicks such fake ads or avatars he/she lands on a special page of a Facebook advertiser. To the users’ dismay, he sees a message stating that the advertiser is not active on Instagram. The viewer learns how many Facebook followers the page has after some research.
Instagram and Facebook Page created for COVID-19 ad placements
Most of these fake accounts were created to promote items like surgical masks, N95 masks, and alcohol hand sanitizers. A brand-new Facebook page starts promoting sanitizers and masks as if it were a hand sanitizer supplier. These ads of hand sanitizers come with hand sanitizer price, MFG date, quantity etc.
Fraudulent pages start their business with “0 (zero)” Facebook followers. They gradually attract people by selling what is in hot demand. Pages have also been created on Facebook against the name of fake or existing users.
Cops and cybercrime experts are probing into these matters. They are yet to come up with detailed analytics on these shortened URLs. They are also trying to figure out how many individuals had visited them.
The website of eminent pharma company like Join Hub Pharma condemns such fraudulent advertisements that mislead people with other images from websites of N95 mask manufacturer. The team of Join Hub works tirelessly to bring in real equipment at rational prices. The world should heal together and everyone must play their role.