Company claims California family died in Facebook ad

Coronavirus

Mother says she doesn't know how company selling face masks got her family's photo to promote a fake story.

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — It’s a story that tugs at your heartstrings, an entire family killed by COVID-19, except for a young boy.

One company was using it to sell face masks.

The problem?

None of it is true and the mother says she has no idea how the company got her family’s photo to use in the ad.

Eight years ago, the Ancich family took this professional photo for their holiday card.

Last week, that same photo showed up in this ad.

For a face mask. Saying the entire family had died except for the youngest son.

Sara Ancich says, “Who would have the audacity to clearly not know a family and type that they had died?”

The ad goes on to say that the family went to a church service in the middle of this pandemic and contracted COVID-19.

Sara Ancich says, “It’s on the forefront of everybody’s mind in the news and everything, and how quickly it is taking lives. It could so clearly be true to people.”

Over the next couple of days, Sara Ancich was inundated with Facebook messages from concerned family and friends.

Sara Ancich says, “And they were all reaching our saying is this true, you haven’t posted anything in a while, are you there, are you ok?”

She tried reporting the video to Facebook – but it kept popping up in her feed.

Sara Ancich says, “It was upsetting. It’s violating.”

Sara says she hasn’t posted the photo on social media in years.

But if you do a reverse image search onGoogle, the photo is on several Pinterest boards for examples of family photos.

Sara Ancich says, “I don’t know how I could have prevented this or I would have.”

In the video, the maker of the face mask, FilterMax claims its the most efficient respirator on the market and is FDA approved.

We checked with the FDA, and it’s not.

The ad also has a video of a teenager, identified as a member of the Ancich family happily recounting his survival.

Sara Ancich says, “I am curious about the boy in the video, too. Where’s he in this? Does he know that he’s out there?”

Kristine Lazar says, “We reached out to Facebook and they immediately pulled down the ad, and there were several versions of it. Facebook also says in order to crack down on businesses taking advantage of fear during this pandemic, it has banned all ads having to do with hand sanitizer, face masks, wipes and COVID-19 tests.

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