Since the UK starts preparations to set up a COVID-19 vaccine, law enforcers are warning of fake versions circulating on the Darknet.
After departure from the UK’s rigorous regulatory approvals procedure in record time, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will start rolling out to vulnerable classes weekly.
But, Europol cautioned on Friday that fake Entities are already beginning to circulate the darknet, as organized crime groups respond to the spike in demand and interest by the general public.
“Counterfeit vaccines can circulate illicit markets or be introduced into the legal marketplace, as happens frequently with other additives that are bogus. The anticipated high need for COVID-19 vaccines will probably attract organized crime groups trying to capitalize on the pandemic scenario and following vaccination efforts,” it explained.
“For instance, offenders can resort to refilling empty vials.
Criminals can also seem to grab real vaccines from supply chain businesses charged with providing them Europol warned.
“Actual COVID-19 vaccines will likely be tremendously prized commodities and their distribution chains (storage, delivery, and transportation ) will be in danger of being targeted by criminals trying to get these pharmaceutical goods,” it stated.
“Organized crime groups could target transit comprising COVID-19 offenses for hijacking and theft”
These vaccines may also pose a threat to public health since they are very likely to have been saved in a way that may impair the item, stated Europol.
“There’s simply no guarantee that what you buy from a darknet marketplace is exactly what you are going to get,” he added. “Unvetted darknet marketplaces now proliferate and let vendors scam at will. As always, we invite users not to buy items from shadowy net marketplaces and finance this criminal market.”