Stores have been sold out of masks and protective gear for months, so why is it every time you get on your phone, ads for respirator masks and hand sanitizer pop up?
The CDC is now recommending people wear masks when grocery shopping, and several states have upped the recommendation to a requirement.
However, unless you are able to make your own mask 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 and news sites, it's an endless stream of ads for masks, face shields and hand sanitizer.
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.
"Ordered 2 Coronavirus Face Masks," one shopper wrote. "Paid $100. A month later I received 3 paper face mask sent from Korea."
"I ordered 5 N95 masks for $120," wrote another. "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 don't even arrive sometimes after it is ordered.
"I spent $199 for N95 masks," yet another shopper wrote. "No response whatsoever for my order, shipping, or tracking."
Others report ordering hand sanitizer from online ads and receiving bottles where the product label and instructions were written entirely in Mandarin. Unless you're multilingual, you could be left with no way of knowing if you've gotten what you actually wanted.
True N-95 respirator masks need to go to health care workers, anyway, so most Americans shouldn't even be trying to track them down.
If you need personal protection for your errands, wear a dust mask, a scarf, bandana or make your own. Don't waste your money on an online order that might never arrive.
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