COVID-19: Instagram Advertisements Selling Masks, Sanitizer and Other Essentials Appear Despite Ban


Opportunists pushing the sales of masks, hand sanitizer and other essentials are circumventing an advertising ban on Instagram to capitalize on fears spurred by the novel coronavirus.

Cybercriminals aren’t the only ones capitalizing on global dread related to COVID-19. The pandemic has also led to a proliferation of misinformation and scams. And, now we see opportunists of all kinds getting in on the act.

Over the last week, I’ve observed an uptick in fraudulent advertisements on Instagram, the popular social networking app, promoting masks, hand sanitizer and other essential goods low in supply and high in demand. These opportunists are not only capitalizing on the public’s fears around COVID-19 by offering masks and disinfectant products at inflated prices, they are also capitalizing on their goodwill by claiming to donate masks to hospitals in need with every purchase.

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