The PM 2.5 situation in Thailand adding to the public fear of the Coronavirus has resulted in a current shortage of medical masks in the nation. Some take this as a business opportunity and have cleaned off the shelves then reselling the masks for 5-10 times the original price. Even worse, some sellers have been producing low-quality masks that do not help protect your health in any way, a scam to take advantage of others during times of need.
The first case is from Facebook user “Tpn Lucky” posted on 6 February 2020. She had purchased medical masks online for sanitary reasons, what she received was terrifying. The masks were covered in black dust and cockroach eggs. The user captioned “I purchased sanitary masks but received masks covered in bacteria. Such a scam, I ordered one thing and received another. What would the Department of Health say if they saw this?
The next case is from another Facebook user Siripun Sujwirakul “สิริพรรณ สัจจวีระกุล”. The woman stated “I’ve seen a lot of masks in the last few days and let me tell you that Thai’s are the ones taking advantage of others. Always lying, increasing the prices to higher than gold. All around me have experienced so many cases. They tell me one price and when I go to pick the product the seller increases their prices claiming that there are other buyers waiting.
I don’t have any to sell right now and only have enough for personal use. I can share some with those who need it but I’m not going to be in the mask business anymore. People keep saying that they have masks when the truth is they have nothing. Sellers are asking buyers to send bank statements, take pictures of cash in front of the buyer’s face, asking for the location of the buyer. It’s like these people are lonely and are playing a game, I’m not into it so they can go play around somewhere else. I’d rather spend time with my child”.
Siripun attached pictures of the masks that claim to be medical grade and made in Japan. The masks are so thin you can see through to the other side and some even turn into powder when you pick it up. The plastic package has Japanese writing on the front but on the back, there are multiple languages stating “made in China”. The user sarcastically captioned the picture “the 150 THB mask is even thinner than the 99 THB mask, it must be the Super Slim model”.
FB Caption: The masks claimed to be medical grade came with cockroach eggs.