Beware of fake website selling surgical masks



Everyone knows that it is hard to get a mask in Singapore.



With the confirmation of local community spread, locals are trying to get their hands on masks since the news broke. From our first-hand experience, it was challenging to find a box of the face. When we finally found one, it was misleadingly sold as surgical masks when it was only dust mask.

Given that online platforms such as Lazada and Qoo10 cancelling face masks orders ( our orders were cancelled from both sites), some turn to other online sources to get the masks they required.



There are some dubious website popping up to sell masks. They are not linked to any online retail platform and operate independently. We would advise readers to be careful when you buy from thess websites. We found an online company called 'MedicalLex'  to be dubious and decided to do an investigation. They claim to be selling their own housebrand Medicalex Medical Graded disposable surgical mask that can Protect against the deadly Coronavirus, H1N1 swine flu, other bacteria and other dreaded pathogens.

Updated: 13 Feb with new findings
Is this real?

Whois Check





We ran a whois check on the website. The result showed that the website was only created 5 days ago. There was no official business listed as their details were made private. A search on Google turns up no information on the company.

At the same time on the website, they listed that they have 70K satisfied customers. An online website that is only 5 days old has 70000 customers with only 1 product. Surely that is a runaway success?


Even before you purchase, there are already a lot of people waiting in the queue. Or is this a ruse to play on your emotions? 



Source: FB

Their Facebook website was also set up only on 5 Feb 2020. 5 days old

Alarm bells are ringing.

For the record, they operate via FB ads. This is the ad they posted.




Testimonies from Asian 

Obviously, the website is targeting  Asia clients despite being a ‘US company’ . It is hardly surprising given the lack of masks in most of Asia due to the virus scarce.


Most of the reviews are by Asians, there are hardly any testimonials by locals (US ) on the website. 
Given that they only operate for 5 days and express shopping is 2-5 days, it’s interesting how they got 729 reviews in the first place. This is even more so when their Write Review button on the order page DOES NOT Work. 

Another giveaway is that there were no photos of the actual packaging of the masks received. Instead, it just showed a box of mask that are packed in a bundle. This does not look like the mask they have shown on their website.

Address check
The website also provided an address.


1155 S Power Rd, Ste 114
Mesa, AZ 85206



Source: Google Search screenshot

A search on google brought us to a Box N Mail address. The Box N Mail is located between an Animal Hospital and an Ink Tower shop. This does not sound a very good place to locate a reputable healthcare supply store. Operating out of a Box N Mail does not give me any confidence in buying from there.



Upon further investigation, this address was also used for not one but at least 2 another website- Sateur,com that sells imitation diamonds and Rosessi.com selling flowers in a dome. Interestingly they have a similar style on the website.



The former is said to be own by Red Earth Group Limited based on HK and not US. You can read the reviews here. Maybe this is just a PO Box address. A Legit company operating in US with a PO BOX address only. Is this possible?


By the way, under the terms and conditions (Section 18- Governing Law), they are governed by and constructed in accordance with the laws of China.

A company with American Address governed under the laws of China but do not sell products made or shipped from China?

We do not know how to interpret this. It confused us.




Dubious Pricing


Furthermore, each box of 50 cost $28.99. Add shipping and you have close to $38 per box.  The problem is that the price is in USD. However, there are no indication on the website that it is in USD. It is only when you click purchase, the invoice will reflect USD. At today’s exchange rate it will be $50. That is way more than even the greedy profiteers charge in Singapore. 









Threaten to Sue (Updated 11/2)

MedicalLex threatens to sue anyone defaming their brand without further proof of claim. As a result of their statement, we decided to add further proof of claim as requested. We are NOT saying they are not real. Instead, we are merely reproducing the facts as found. You would make the judgment yourself.

The source of this information is from the horse's mouth - i.e. their sponsored ad links on Facebook. Apparently, they are unable to delete comments on that post ( as compared to their Facebook page where everything negative was deleted) Here is the link -Updated the link has been deleted, but we have the screenshots on this post

RED FLAG 1 : Fake Reviewers

Don't rub your eyes, the 'reviewers on their website are similar to another website that sells mask (coronamask.co). Coincidentally, both were created in Feb and both are selling masks at ridiculous prices. Reviewers name may be different but the photos are the same.





1st day review.

On their Facebook ad page, there were 3 'buyers' who commented on the first day of the launch to say they received their products. This was probably done to add credibility.  It seemed odd that they had already received the product given (7th Feb)  that the company was only created on 4th Feb
Hello Sofia I know you - Empir
Among these 3 buyers, 2 of them interact with each other prior to this. All buyers disappear after their testimonials on the post. Other than these 3, no other 'buyers' step forward.

RED FLAG 2: Questionable orders

The company claimed that orders were made before Jan10 and urge 'buyers to pm them if they had not received the product. This was probably done to convince the current buyers that 4 weeks delivery is the norm AND they had buyers way before Jan 10. 

The interesting thing is that the website was not set up until 4 Feb. As for high demand for Mask prior to  Jan 10, unless someone has a crystal ball, it is highly unlikely given the timeline of the virus. For the record, the first death was only announced on 11 Jan and the first case reported outside China was on 13 Jan. Frenzy buying of mask only occur around 18-20 Jan (Source)

RED FLAG 3: Source of Product


When queried about the source of the product, the company provided 2 different answers. One stated that they have 2 different locations (HK and United States), the other stated that there are 5 different countries where they shipped from. Apparently, they cannot confirm if they have 2 or 5 distribution centre.
From Germany and Ukraine now.

The  Facebook update states that stocks will be from Germany and Ukraine.


However, the latest update showed a handwritten invoice of 50 cartons from AGEMAC SUPPLY & TRADING CO LTD - A Nigerian Company.

The Nigerian company is not located in Germany or Ukraine, it is not even on the same continent.

In honesty, with the conflicting details provided, the source cannot be ascertained.
Would you purchase medical products from unverified source?


RED FLAG 4: Avoiding answering cost question


Whenever a simple question to confirm the currency of the product, they always say refer to the website instead of a simple answer.
No Currency option

We did refer and it showed $28.99 with no indication of what currency it was denoted in. For those in Malaysia, this would have been a very good deal. Even during checkout, the currency was not shown. It was only after the payment that one would realise that the price is in USD on the invoice!
Add caption

RED FLAG 5: Masking Certification 

On the latest post, they posted a certificate to 'prove' the authenticity. Important details like the company's name and certification number were masked out. If it is truly authentic, why the need to mask the details?

Base on this photo itself, one could not certify anything as the name of the company is missing and the certificate number masked as well.

We received this from one of our reader who apparently asked the company who issued this certificate was authentic. This was the reply


In case you doubt this authenticity, we think this is the original copy. The company stated is Ampri, not Medicallex. (Thanks to a reader contribution)





RED FLAG 6: Different Packaging than advertised

This photo of their product was on the website


This was what they said they are delivering. They had masked the image but through reverse image search, we found the same box by Med Comfort.

This was claimed to be delivered by one of their 'buyers' on 4 Feb on their facebook ad.

We zoomed in at the box for a closer look and surprisingly, it looked like the fake surgical mask we bought recently. It was a dust mask masquerading as a surgical mask.
Zoom to check the photo
The box we had stated that it was made in China. According to them, they insisted that they do not get the surgical mask from China.
Not Made in China


So which face mask are they going to send?


RED FLAG 7: Possible Doctored Photo

Your eyes are not playing a trick on you. The one on the right was taken from a Shoppee website and has words in Chinese. That post was dated 31 Jan. The photo was uploaded only 2 days ago according to Google. It was an obvious photoshop, even the leaf position remained the same.




RED FLAG 8: Deleting comments on the Facebook page and suspicious new likes





The latest update had 32 comments, all but one were deleted. It's possible that those comments were negative. If they are sincere about a business, it should be transparent right?
With love from 'India'

The FB page was down for a while on Feb 12. When it was live again, a whole bunch of Likes mostly from what appears to be India mysteriously appeared. Click on the profiles of each one and you would see just a photo or two on the profile with little else.

Updated 17 Feb: The FB page is down as on Feb 17, not sure if it is going to be live again in the near future.
Where are the 59 angry people?


The Angry emoticons were also emptied. Their original Facebook Ad with the negative comments was deleted. Was this a coincidence or a poorly engineered plan to give the resemblance of reputation?


We think that these 8 red flags should suffice the proof of claim the 'seller' wanted. Again, we are not accusing anyone of being a scam. Rather we would let the readers decided for themselves with the facts presented.


Is this real?
We are not able to say for sure that this is a scam. The facts presented here are for you to make your own judgement if this is real or not. Regardless, would you be comfortable handing your credit card details to an unverified company?

For those who had ordered, you may eventually get your orders. Do check them as they may not be exactly the same MEDICAL GRADE SURGICAL FACE MASK as advertised. The first telltale sign will be the packaging. Judging from the photos of the products 'received', it does not even look like the original packaging on the website.  The modus operandi of these sites is that they would send one that is of lower quality than advertised or not send you one at all.

When you do, let us know. If we are wrong, this post would be taken down with proof of your verified purchased. It has to be the SAME as per advertised on the website- Medical Grade Surgical Face Mask in the same packaging that Protect against the deadly Coronavirus, H1N1 swine flu, other bacteria and other dreaded pathogens. If it is anything else, even if you received the 'face mask'  it is still considered as dishonest marketing.

Scam Doc rating on Medicallex.com


Apparently, we are not the only ones doubting their authenticity.

Update 11/2 
 Malaysia newspaper (Sinchew) reported that this is a scam  (We are merely reporting this, we do not judge if it is one and would leave the decision to the buyer)


Update 15/2

Medicallex had made refunds to some sellers
Apparently, some customers that made requests for refunds had their money back. Would this be a legit company with bad marketing techniques?



There are still lingering doubts as to why the refunds were made
Source: Hardware zone

Medicallex Facebook Page ceases to exist
The FB page does not exist anymore. This means that all the discriminating evidence from their own FB posts have been wiped out. Still, we had screenshots of them on this post if you would like to verify the sources.


Medicallex website is still active, but with some changes

The reviews had been edited, photos of profiles associated with the reviews were removed. Previously, we had indicated that these profile photos may not be authentic due to duplicates found online.

You cannot pay even if you want to order
Cannot pay

Following the refunds to some customers, there may be those who might want to give this a try. However, the payment method has been disabled for purchase in Singapore. There is a possibility, it has been blocked from Singapore

Norton Virus had flagged it as a potential scam


This page came up when we visited the website. If you have installed a webpage checker, you might get the same results too.

Is this a legit business with bad marketing or a scam website?
We would not comment on the authenticity, it is UP YO YOU to decide.


Before you make any purchases from an unfamiliar website, do check for authenticity first.

If you would like to get your hands on face, we recommend keeping a lookout at more reliable sources. As of last weekend, we saw masks selling at Unity ( 10 masks for $3.50) and Watsons ($12 for box of 50) . You can try your luck there rather than being scam online.

For mask availability in Singapore, we suggest that you should follow Singapore Atrium Sale on Facebook. They give regular updates on mask availability and locations. That would probably be your best bet to find and purchase physical masks in Singapore.


Follow us on Facebook - The Wacky Duo for the latest updates on Wuhan Coronovirus in Singapore 

Related Readings
Confirmed List of Coronavirus Singapore



Fake Surgical Mask - Have I been Scammed?

6 comments:

  1. a:medicallex.queue-it.net
    Type Domain Name IP Address TTL
    A medicallex.queue-it.net 52.209.84.28
    Amazon.com, Inc. (AS16509) 60 sec
    A medicallex.queue-it.net 34.241.54.47
    Amazon.com, Inc. (AS16509) 60 sec
    A medicallex.queue-it.net 54.194.43.160
    Amazon.com, Inc. (AS16509) 60 sec
    A medicallex.queue-it.net 52.208.106.181
    Amazon.com, Inc. (AS16509) 60 sec
    A medicallex.queue-it.net 52.211.215.181
    Amazon.com, Inc. (AS16509) 60 sec
    A medicallex.queue-it.net 54.171.188.251

    Virtual website hosted in Amazon AWS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. the same "mailing" address is used for other websites with the same design, selling other items. beware of those sites too : rosessi, sateur, airmare. whois for those sites return the same zipcode in scottsdale, arizona.
    The Facebook page of Sateur has the same "rating" of 4.9 from 1359 [fake] reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The photos of the potential fake "reviewers" can be found on another possible scam website: coronamask.co too! And coincidentally, the site was created in Feb 2020 as well..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing. Given the coincidence, it would not be surprising that BOTH sites are potential frauds.

      Delete
  4. I have pictures of the original certs and box.
    Original cert https://www.ampri.de/media/dokumente/zertifikat/ISO-Zertifikat-ENISO13485-AMPri_zertifikat_en_4-2018_revision01.pdf
    Original box
    https://www.ampri.de/en/02600g_basicplus_nonwoven_face_mask_green/produkt-1438-2216/

    ReplyDelete