Shops Sell 1-Ply Masks To Unsuspecting Customers Amid Covid-19 Outbreak

With the frenzy surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak, many unscrupulous individuals are looking to capitalise on the situation. Stories of scams and inflated prices of masks have been flooding social media.

Now, there are also shops that are selling paper-thin masks that have only 1 ply, reported The New Paper.

Image for illustration purposes only

Sold at Lucky Plaza pop-up store

Some of these dodgy masks were found at a pop-up store at Lucky Plaza.

A customer, Mr Wee, bought a box of 50 masks for $17. The box looked dubious because there was no brand or address stamped on.

True enough, the masks were substandard. When compared with normal masks, they were noticeably thinner and the filter layer was extremely porous too.

Image for illustration purposes only

Mr Wee also noticed other shops at Lucky Plaza selling masks in individual packs outside of the original box, reports The New Paper.

Substandard 1-ply masks also found in JB

These fake masks were not only found in Singapore but also found in neighbouring Johor Bahru (JB) too.

A ‘legit’ mask (L) and a substandard mask (R)

The box apparently claim the masks were 3-ply. However, customers found that the masks were flimsy and thin. They also had no brand.

How to differentiate between good & bad masks

Even if a mask is of the correct thickness, it may not necessarily be a good and reliable mask.

Malaysian pharmacy Alpro Pharmacy offered some tips on how to tell if the masks you’re buying are legitimate.


Apart from the proper thickness, one tell-tale signs of a good mask is the nose clip, which provides “good sealing effect”.

Similarly for N95 masks, substandard masks are also thinner than average and will not have a nose clip.


For NIOSH-approved brands for N95 masks, you can refer to this list. Brands that do not have the NIOSH certificate number or are expired are not approved, according to Singapore’s Health Science Authority.

Be careful about the masks you’re buying

Let’s pay extra attention to the things we buy and not fall prey to these unscrupulous sellers looking to make a quick buck.

At the same time, we hope the authorities would clamp down hard on these dodgy sellers who are capitalising on the Covid-19 outbreak at the expense of Singaporeans.

Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.