Omaha woman hoping to snag mask offer has unexpected charges

WOWT 6 News Live at 10
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:36 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In the fight against COVID, health officials are telling us to wear a mask that provides better protection. But those aren’t always easy to find so you might be taken in by a questionable offer.

KN95 masks for just the price of shipping. An intriguing email offer Debra Kershaw thought was nothing to sneeze at.

“I looked at four or five places and couldn’t find them anywhere and I thought there’s a possibility that this company has bought up a bunch of them and can make them available,” said Kershaw.

Debra thought she would get 10 KN95 masks for $7.95 and gave her debit card number to pay that shipping cost.

Because of the increased demand for N95 and KN95 masks, Debra worried time is running out for ordering one. But she never expected a coverup of unexpected charges.

Debra found the $7.95 charge plus $7.95 for expedited shipping, $7.95 for warranty, and $59.95 for a membership to a health products supply club.

“It ended up like $90, I had to cancel my card and get a new one,” said Kershaw.

“They are always looking to double and triple the amount they can get out of consumers. That nefarious activity doesn’t just turn off once they got somebody on the line for something, it’s always what’s next,” said Josh Planos, Better Business Bureau.

The demand for N95 and KN95 means higher prices and fewer of them available so beware of email offers that mask extra charges.

“I was definitely taken advantage of and I’m a bit embarrassed about it but I also want to make sure other people don’t get taken in,” said Kershaw.

Despite unexpected charges for masks, Debra expects delivery or she’ll file a fraud report with her bank.

The mask offer popped down from a customer service survey sent out by a large retailer. We haven’t heard back from them.

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips:

  • Don’t provide a debit card number for shipping.
  • Credit card charges can be disputed without loss of money from your account.
  • Beware of surveys with sudden pop down offers. They might not come from who you expect.
  • Report price gouging for the high-quality masks.

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