Face masks: Dark web drug dealers rush to meet high demand

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Credit: investopedia.com

Criminals are turning to the online world to now sell counterfeit surgical face masks on the dark web to exploit the supply shortage resulting from the outbreak in China.

The face mask listings were detected by risk management company Digital Shadows on English-language marketplace Empire, which is known for selling illegal drugs and hacking equipment.

Listings show plain masks without the advanced respirators capable of filtering small virus particles, although it isn’t clear whether these images are legitimate.

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One listing offers to sell boxes of 2,000 surgical face masks for $6,500 (£5,300) each, pricing an individual mask at $3.25 (£2.65).

“Vendors like these typically engage in the sale of illicit drugs, but have clearly seen a market opportunity to branch out into medical equipment,” the company reported.




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