Coronavirus: Warning over fraudulent face mask adverts in North Yorkshire

Coronavirus: Warning over fraudulent face mask adverts in North Yorkshire

Published by Harry Long at 3:28pm 18th May 2020.

North Yorkshire residents are being warned about fraudulent face mask adverts.

  • Residents in North Yorkshire are being warned about fraudulent or misleading face mask adverts.
  • There has been a rise in adverts for masks since government advice that they should be worn in some public places. 
  • North Yorkshire Council has issued tips to buy face masks safely online.   

There has been a rise in online adverts for face masks since the government issued advice that they should be worn in enclosed public places, such as on public transport and in supermarkets.

The County Council’s trading standards team says some masks are misleading and claim that they offer more protection than they do. Some adverts are fraudulent, meaning masks are paid for but never received.

Face masks can protect other people by reducing the spread of the disease, but they do not prevent the virus, as is claimed in some adverts.

The council has issued some tips  to buy face masks safely online:

  • Check the seller’s details and feedback before buying
  • Avoid sellers outside the EU as there is no guarantee of safety
  • Use a payment method with payment protection
  • Ignore claims such as ‘100% effective at preventing the virus’ 

County Councillor Andrew Lee, Executive Member for Trading Standards, said:

“It is understandable that people want to do everything they can to prevent the spread of the disease and avoid becoming ill themselves. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous traders are taking advantage of this and I would advise anyone planning to buy masks to exercise caution and follow the trading standards tips.”          

North Yorkshire Trading Standards is providing free advice to anyone planning to make masks to sell. The team can be contacted on 01609 780780 or at business.advice@northyork.gov.uk

The County Council has also produced a step-by-step video showing how to make a mask. This can be found on the council’s YouTube channel.