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Dirty tricks: Romanians order face masks but get toilet roll instead

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Romanians ordered face masks but received rolls of toilet paper
Romanians ordered face masks but received rolls of toilet paper   -   Copyright  Cristina Bala
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Scores of health-conscious Romanians ordered face masks to protect against COVID-19... but got sent toilet paper instead.

Police say the scam has seen 89 people fall victim to the fraudsters.

Adverts were published online and on social media promising surgical masks but the shipments contained only toilet roll, said police.

“I paid the postman delivering the package and while he went to his car to bring back the change I opened the package," Cristina Bala, one of the victims, told Euronews.

"I saw there were no masks and then went straight to the post office to demand that the €100 payment be returned.

"Post office representatives told me they blocked the payment as they await further details from the police.

"I also went to the police, they took fingerprints from the package and I gave a statement about what happened.

"To my surprise, days later I was called by someone from the local post office to tell me that they couldn’t block the payment.

"I don’t know if I’ll ever get my money back now.”

A probe has been launched and eight arrests warrants have been issued for suspects believed to be involved in the scam.

Wearing face masks is mandatory on public transport and in closed public spaces in Romania.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown say prices for face masks increased. Online prices were as much as 30 times what was charged before coronavirus.