|A KF94 face mask from Korean company Hansong, right, and the fake one with the same packaging / Korea Times|
By Jung Min-ho
Watch out for scammers who are trying to rip you off with fake Korean masks.
According to the Hankook Ilbo, sister paper of The Korea Times, scammers in Southeast Asia are selling fake Korean masks at a time when good-quality masks are difficult to find because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the surface, it may look just like a famous Korean product with a KF94 filter ― but what's inside is not the same.
"I have heard that some Chinese mask makers are trying to make a fortune by capitalizing on Korea's brand value," a source told the paper. "Some people may just buy their fake products ― even though they know they are fake ― because they can make a lot of money (by reselling them)."
The Korean government has strictly restricted mask exports since Feb. 26 to ensure sufficient domestic supply.
Korean mask makers worry that such masks will undermine foreign customers' trust in Korea and Korean products in general.
"I was expecting surges in demand for Korean masks overseas … I'm worried that low-quality, fake masks will undermine prospects for my business," another industry source said.