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Beware of Fraudulent Coronavirus Treatments, Tests and Vaccines: Cyber Experts

At a time when India is about to roll out world’s largest vaccination drive, the cyber frauds are eyeing potential preys. The cyber cell has warned time and again against these cyber frauds who can dupe in the name of Covid vaccine.

Online fraudsters have started making the kin of the patients admitted in hospital their prey. They ask money from the kin in the name of an emergency treatment or surgery. Recently one such scam came into the spotlight when the relatives of an elderly person who was admitted at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, were asked for immediate transfer of Rs 50,000 for some immediate injections. The family did not fall into the trap and filed a case against the false call.

According to cyber cell, these fraudsters first ask for various documents including Aadhaar and valid email ID. Later, to authenticate Aadhaar, they ask for OTP from people. When people share the OTP, money is taken from Aadhaar linked Bank Account.

‘Cyber Dost’, the official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ cyber-security division recently threw light on a new crime by fraudsters to cheat the citizens. Please note that any COVID-19 related news, policy or regulations will come to you via official, trusted sources like a newspaper, television channel or the government’s official social media handles. 

Recently, a lot of cases have been reported where such fraudsters are coming with offers like “pay and register” for receiving first Covid vaccine. All such offers reach to people through malicious links, mails, messages and phone calls. 

The health authorities have made their stand clear that hospitals are not making any phone calls regarding money matters. 


“No phone calls are being made by the health department for registration of Covid-19 vaccination. The vaccination of front line warriors (health workers) will be made in the third week of January in this year and there is no registration programme being conducted for Covid-19 vaccination at present,” stated Chief Medical officer Dr Srikant Tiwari.

Recently lots of cases have been reported where such fraudsters are coming with offers like “pay and register” for receiving first covid vaccine. All such offers reach to people through malicious links, mails, messages and phone calls. So it’s a humble request to everyone to think twice before clicking on any such links as there is a risk that they may get cheated by these fraudsters.

Scammers may pose as strangers, calling or sending messages to urge you to wire money immediately. They’ll say they need cash due to an emergency. The emergency can be in the form of injections, urgent treatment or medicines.  Their goal is to trick you into sending money before you realize it’s a scam.
The most important way to act during any such emergency is by verifying and authenticating first.

Verify an Emergency
If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a family member or a friend desperate for money:
• Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
• Verify the person’s identity.
• Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine.
• Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.

Don’t wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.

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