Worldwide, the most complex vaccination campaign in history is being rolled out. Every country has its own plans, rules, and setbacks that they encounter. As always, there are scammers and cybercriminals trying to take advantage of this situation. For example , the Darknet offers COVID-19 vaccinations for sale from the three largest manufacturers: Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.
Sellers ‘COVID-19’ vaccine
Most of the sellers come from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The price for a vaccination averages $ 500, with peaks of $ 250 and $ 1200. Communication is via encrypted apps such as Wickr and Telegram and payment is only possible via cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
The majority of these illegal sellers report having made between 100 and 500 transactions. However, it is still unclear what exactly the buyers on the Darknet received. Based on the information available to Kaspersky, which has conducted research, no conclusion can be drawn about how many vaccinations offered are real or fake. However, it seems very likely that when a buyer actually receives something by mail, it is not a real vaccination.
Everything can be found on the Darknet
“You can find almost everything on the Darknet. It’s no surprise, then, those illegal sellers are looking to get rid of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. We’ve seen an array of scammers taking advantage of COVID over the past year, and many of them have been successful. At the moment, not only vaccinations are for sale, but also vaccination papers that allow you to travel internationally, for example. It is important to be careful when it comes to special ‘actions’ related to the pandemic. It’s never a good idea to buy a vaccine on the Darknet, ”said Dmitry Galov, Kaspersky Lab’s security expert.
To stay safe from scammers in times of COVID here is the following advice:
- Never buy products – including vaccinations – on the Darknet
- First, check the URL of the website before visiting COVID-related advertisements. Is a letter incorrect or has the usual .com been replaced by .com.tk or something similar? Then there is a good chance that it concerns phishing. Never enter personal information on such a site.
- Pay attention to grammar and layout on websites and in emails. When in doubt, there is a good chance that it is phishing.
If you want to know more information about the Darknet vaccinations, check out Kaspersky‘s blog.