A Shuswap resident who has been making face masks available for donation, similar to those pictured, says they were approached by someone claiming to be with Interior Health, who took some of the masks without making a donation and attempted to sell them. (File photo)

Shuswap mask maker allegedly scammed by person claiming to be with Interior Health

Resident says person who took homemade masks tried to sell them online

Good intentions will be tempered with caution after a Shuswap resident who has been making handmade face masks available for donation was allegedly taken advantage of.

The resident, who asked to remain anonymous for safety concerns, said they had been approached by someone claiming to be employed with Interior Health who asked for 30 masks, taking them without providing a donation. The resident said those masks were later being sold publicly online for $10 apiece.

Later, the resident learned the same thing happened to another person who provided 200 masks that wound up being sold online. Again, the person who took the masks claimed to be with Interior Health, stating the masks were for the elderly in care homes.

Read more: Shuswap residents respond to health workers’ need for personal protective equipment

Read more: Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“I’ve been (making masks) for six weeks since the virus was announced,” the resident told the Observer on Monday, April 27, stating they have made more than 300 masks. The donations collected go towards the purchase of fabric and materials to make more.

The resident said they hadn’t yet reported the incident to police as the person who took the masks only offered their first name. However, the resident has been warning others on social media.

Interior Health confirms it is not currently soliciting homemade personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, from private individuals for use in its facilities.

On April 5, the health authority issued a statement explaining that while it is grateful for offers of homemade items including PPE, due to strict safety standards and to minimize risks to health-care staff, it is not accepting any at this time.

Discouraged by the incident, the resident said from now on they would be asking the identification of those wanting masks.

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