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Beware! Early Covid-19 Vaccine & Remedies On Web Is Possible Scam



Fake COVID-19 vaccines are being sold on the dark web

With the US approving the use of the first coronavirus vaccine, state officials are warning that merciless cybercriminals are trying to monetize this significant step to steal people’s money and bank account details.

Several state police have registered a lot of complaints regarding fraudsters calling people up and telling them how a certain amount can get them early access to Covid vaccine. The scamsters call people to book slots of Covid-19’s early shots and seek their bank account details to charge the registration amount.

Fraudsters kept calling people and asking them to share the OTP, or to click on the phishing emails etc, however, most people denied their bank account or other details to them.

There is no such process of booking early shots of Covid vaccine in the country, and the police and cyber cells have strictly warned people to be aware of such scam calls and never share the bank account or other personal details with a stranger over a phone. Beware! If any caller asks you to download an app or click on any phishing email or any link on social media platforms.

Cyber experts warn that conmen have already created several fake websites and pages through which they are trying to fool people. As per cybersecurity firm Checkpoint, over 1,062 domains have been created in November having the keyword ‘vaccine’. This number is even higher than the ‘vaccine’ related registrations in the past three months.

Experts also highlighted that there are several posts of dark web which claims to sell Covid-19 vaccines or remedies.

Fake COVID-19 vaccines are being sold on the dark web
Fake COVID-19 vaccines are being sold on the dark web

Recently, vaccine makers Pfizer and BioNTech confidential documents involving the vaccine making process that were shared with the European agencies were on the target of hackers who were trying to steal the information to produce fake vaccines.

One of the motives of the hackers was to steal the data, information and sell it to other companies in high prices who can produce fake vaccines.

While the UK, USA and Russia have agreed on starting Covid vaccinations, it is not known yet when India will get on board for the same.

One such complaint registered with the Bhopal cybercrime branch states a businessman received a call from a stranger to register for the Covid-19 vaccine and that too for just Rs 500. The fraudster warned him that once the vaccines will be out in the market it will cost in thousands or even lakhs of rupees as everyone will rush to have one.

ASP Saklecha said that the online fraudsters are also sending phishing emails, and links over emails, text messages and on social media. They also ask people to download an app through a link which is actually a screen sharing software and the scamsters deceive people by stealing their banking details from their devices.

As these fraudsters are becoming more efficient by the day, it is advised to only consider the information on the official website of health department correct and genuine. The Dark Net has been prominently used by cybercriminals to post about the availability of coronavirus vaccination.

Apart from Bhopal, some such cases have also emerged in Lucknow. Suryabhan Singh Cyber Cell in-charge, Gorakhpur, also issued a directive to not trust any kind of private websites.