Scammer Trying To Promote Price Gouging Through YouTube Creators

An opportunistic company calling itself Maskinneed is reaching out to YouTubers help exploit the fears of the American public that have led them to buy surgical masks. The company is in fact offering paid endorsements to YouTubers who promote their product through video testimonials.

The website for the company touts a discount on the product (a package of 50 paper surgical masks) which it claims normally costs $49.00 by advertising  $10.00 off at the moment bringing the cost down to $39.00. But here is the catch. We contacted a local CVS Pharmacy to find out the cost for a box of 50 surgical masks and were told that a box of 50 masks would cost $12.99.

To find out more about the group or person associated with this offer we called the number listed on the website and found that it is connected to a Google Voice account. The message does not identify the number as belonging to any company. Repeated attempts to reach Maskinneed merited no results. The address listed for the offices of the company are for spaces typically rented for temporary purposes such as short meetings or transitional office space.

The Streaming Advisor became aware of this apparent scam when we received an email offering a paid or sponsored video promoting the masks for help against COVID-19. The very idea that YouTubers would review a product like this and tell people to buy them is dangerous because unless a YouTube creator has some sort of lab where they can test the effectiveness. How are any of them, including the Streaming Advisor supposed to give a good recommendation one way or the other? We can’t and won’t. Our organization would never dream of profiting off our viewers in that way. And any YouTube creator who would, is doing a disservice to their viewers and the country at large.

This gross markup of pricing is prosecutable. As you go about looking to protect your family from a medical standpoint don’t get advice from people who talk about the entertainment industry or video games or anything else. YouTube recently reached out to creators to caution them against producing videos concerning COVID-19 in an attempt to prevent misinformation by even the most well-meaning creators.

For expert advice on COVID-19 please see the CDC’s website here

Raead the full Text of the email here.

paid product review campaign looking for youtubers