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Pandemic offers: Pixie dust that fights viruses, $6,000 a week selling medical stuff

By David Pendered

Earn up to $6,000 a week selling COVID-19 products or buy a pesticide that will fend off the coronavirus. These are examples of offers that fuel dreams of easy money and personal safety in metro Atlanta as the pandemic continues to disrupt.

Covid, graffiti, One paycheck away

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be taking a toll on those inclined to leave their mark in public places: ‘You’re 1 paycheck away.’ Credit: David Pendered

The job offer is among those that appear on craigslist.com’s Atlanta pages as Georgia has processed just over 1 million claims of initial unemployment in the past month, a number the state Labor Department announced Thursday. A quarter of those claims were processed last week, 247,003 initial claims.

Federal prosecutors have charged a Fayetteville woman with smuggling an unregistered pesticide in from Japan and selling it on eBay as a pixie dust that would, “reduce transmission risk by 90 percent” of all viruses.

Toamit Virus Shut Out was marketed as a defense against the novel coronavirus. The EPA got involved, by halting its import by ship into West Coast ports, and observed in a statement that the product’s label, including directions for use, “is not provided in the English language as required by law, and on-line advertising materials contain misleading claims about its safety and effectiveness.”

A job offer from a medical products company appears to be the highest paid virus-related position posted Saturday evening on craigslist.com: “COVID-19 PRODUCTS (EARN $3000 TO $6000 PER WEEK).”

The company advertises itself as a, “4-year-old medical service company has opened new division Offering covid-19 products to Doctors, Hospitals, and pharmacies.” The products are said to include COVID-19 tests, masks, ventilators and personal protective equipment.

Applications are accepted only by email. The link to the address appeared to function. Whether a response would be forthcoming is unclear, because just under the job offer for the medical sales job is a notation that the company, which says it typically offers a, “regenerative medicine business model” expects to, “resume business when this crisis is over.”

covid, virus shut out

A Fayetteville woman has been charged with selling on eBay an unregistered pesticide smuggled in from Japan that was marketed as a way to protect individuals from the coronoavirus. Credit: epa.gov

Meanwhile, an offer for a job sewing surgical masks offers the chance to earn $14 an hour and be part of history:

  • “With this job, you will have the opportunity to make a BIG difference in what is going on today.
  • “Do you want to help doctors and nurses stay safe in these trying times?
  • “Do you want to walk away proud of the help you have provided? Then we want to speak with you.”

The job posting states the position is in Lawrenceville and will last from two months to three months. Workers will be assigned to a shift, Monday through Friday, sometime between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.

The pay, $14 an hour, is nearly twice the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The state’s minimum wage of $5.15 an hour applies to fairly few employers. The job is listed as fulltime and sewers will be provided a mask that’s to be worn during work. Social distancing is required while on the job.

The alleged scam involving pesticide imported from Japan that was marketed on eBay with multiple claims, according to a statement from the office of U.S. District Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak:

  • The product is said to be an, “office and home essential during viral infections reduce transmission risk by 90%;”
  • “In extraordinary times, access to public places and confined spaces will be protected by one more layer and have one more layer of safety protection effect, thus reducing the risks and probability of infection and transmission.”

The case appears to be the only case directly related to COVID-19 to be announced by Pak’s office.

A Duluth man was charged with hacking into a computer system to sabotage shipping records and delay the delivery of personal protective equipment to healthcare providers. The case appears to relate to the man’s retaliation against his former employer for being fired from his job, according to information in a statement by the federal prosecutor’s office.



David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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