Following the run on surgical masks at pharmacies throughout Richmond earlier in the week, a man has been spotted selling them from the trunk of a vehicle at two Richmond mall parking lots.
A Twitter post shows a photo of a man in an underground parking lot posing beside a white SUV with the trunk open, displaying a large sign with “N95 Dust Masks” written on it. The caption on the photo reads: “If you looking to buy N95 face mask go to Aberdeen Centre ASAP! Parking stall # 54. Selling at $40 a box.”
The post appeared Thursday evening, two days after B.C.’s first case of novel coronavirus was confirmed.
In another post on Reddit, what appears to be the same man is seen in the parking lot of Lansdowne Centre, again standing beside the open trunk of a white SUV while two women line up. On top of the box in the trunk is a sign reading: $40.
The Richmond News has visited both locations but could not find anyone selling masks.
Meanwhile, all of the pharmacies the News contacted Friday said they were sold out of surgical masks and none could say when they would be restocked or how much the masks would sell for once they arrived.
Prior to the frenzied buying on Tuesday, a box of 50 surgical face masks at the level one rating — mainly used for cleaning or some lab work — were sold for $11.99 at an independent pharmacy, $14.99 at London Drugs and $18.99 at PriceSmart.
Level two and three masks, which are used to prevent inhaling aerosols or splatter from fluids, were sold at McCue Pharmacy, on Cook Road near No. 3 Road, for $55 (per box of 50) for level two and $84 for a level three masks.
On Friday, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) issued a warning to online shoppers buying surgical face masks to “look out for fake websites that harvest credit card information” during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
-With files from Nono Shen