Beware of Fake Coronavirus Vaccines Selling Online and Related Scams
With few vaccines coming into picture for fighting the global pandemic of COVID-19 virus, scammers on the internet are trying to cash in. Apart from selling fake COVID-19 vaccines online there are also scams involving remedies for fighting/killing the Coronavirus. So, let us find out about them to stay away from the scams and the health risks involved.
Fake Coronavirus Vaccines and Scams
Amidst growing necessity of COVID-19 vaccine, Cyber authorities have come across hundreds of websites promising to provide same. They appear with messages like “Coronavirus Vaccine is out now. Buy fast..,” at some good prices between $250 and $750. Along with COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, BioNTech, Sinopharm, Sinovac and others, they tempt people into buying fake remedies. Many such dark web vendors are increasing exponentially on Darknet and also appeared on messaging platforms WhatsApp and Telegram.
Note, some of the fraudulent websites ask payment in Bitcoins to avoid being traced by the authorities. In contrast to the official proposals, they also claim many doses of the vaccine are required. To appear authentic, the domain names include the word Covid, Corona or vaccine. European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Europol released the below statement in this regard.
“When a Covid-19 vaccine does become available, it will likely not be available for sale online. However, fraudulent pharmaceutical products advertised as allegedly treating or preventing Covid-19 are already on sale, both offline and online..”
Europol also warned such fake vaccines can be fatal if used. INTERPOL Secretary General, Jürgen Stock also explained the same in a statement.
“Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives”
Phishing Scams and Malware
On the other hand, cybercriminals are using the vaccine related news as bait for phishing campaigns and malware attacks through emails also. The contain .EXE files in the name of COVID-19 vaccines or its information, which when downloaded automatically install software to steal your personal or financial information including passwords. So, we suggest people to be careful with these claims of vaccine and remedies. High demand combined with a limited supply will make COVID-19 vaccines the equivalent of liquid gold to organized crime networks, Interpol’s Jürgen Stock warned.