Well, this is surprisingly easy to do with simple marketing and photo-manipulation, and then you’ll have about 4.4M USD out of which 3.3M USD is currently frozen by the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, which is still quite a lot of money. The point is, that with simple fact checking a lot of this damage could’ve been avoided, and many future legal processes.
What are the “LEAF Masks”?
To put simply, Leaf MASK should be a crowdfunded product if it existed in the first place. It should be: the first FDA approved N99 type, clear face mask with a HEPA filter, and with some variants it should have UV lights to kill pathogens. They’ve gained about 3.3M USD in crowdfunding, without people checking obvious facts…and there are yet about 26 thousand people who supported the campaign.
FDA approved, or not?
The Leaf MASK is only a listed device, not approved. There is a clear difference in FDA terms. Getting a device FDA listed is like getting your name on a phonebook. The registration is mandatory annually. This is also why the campaign is speaking of a “World’s first FDA Registered [sic.]” medical device.
The obvious part: usage of stock photos and marketing material generally
Firstly, the photos should’ve been the first proof that the mask is simply not real life product! Let’s take a look on these 3 persons wearing the LEAF mask on, in the campaign page at the Indiegogo, the LEAF mask website and what they’ve all in common with.
Seems that they’re all models for stock photos, but someone have edited the mask on their faces. All it took to figure this out was a simple reverse image search on the allmighty Google search engine, and it was particularly easy because the mask is transparent, so it actually doesn’t alter the face of the model that radically.
It also sticks to the eye, that the company behind the mask is only using still images on their promotional videos and in other marketing material, the backside of the mask is never shown.
Someone could also note that sometimes the straps disappear in the marketing material which should be supporting the mask.
At this point without any further checks anyone could easily see this to be a scam and a fraud by the Redcliffe Medical Devices, Inc.
Who is responsible for creating the hype?
Of course, people who’ve allowed this to happen in the first place are the one’s who created the scam in the first place, but then there is Indiegogo too as a platform giving it publicity though they’ve done good job on attempting to limit the damage by freezing funds of the Redcliffe Medical Devices, Inc.
Media has done unfortunately not so good job on fact checking when they’ve released news about the product. Particularly e.g.