LAGOS, Nigeria, March 4, 2021/APO Group/ — The whole world is currently undergoing one of the largest and most complex vaccination campaigns in history, and, unsurprisingly, con artists and black market vendors have been keen to profit from this process.
Researchers at Kaspersky (https://africa.Kaspersky.com) looked at 15 different markets on the Darknet and found advertisements for three main COVID vaccines: Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna. There were also vendors advertising unverified “COVID19” vaccines.
The majority of sellers were from France, Germany, the UK, and the US, and prices per dose ranged from $ 250 to $ 1,200, with an average cost of around $ 500. Communications are carried out through encrypted messaging apps such as Wickr and Telegram, while payments are requested in the form of cryptocurrency, primarily Bitcoin.
The majority of these underground sellers have made between 100 and 500 transactions, indicating that they have made sales, but what exactly Darknet users are buying is not clear.
With the information Kaspersky experts have, it is impossible to say how many doses of vaccines advertised online are actual doses (many medical institutions ended up with remaining doses. [https://nbcnews.to/3c2pEzi]) and how many ads are a scam.
Even if you received something in the mail, there is a good chance that what you would receive is not an effective and valid dose. More importantly, obtaining such doses is illegal.
“You can find just about anything on the Darknet, so it’s no surprise that the vendors are trying to capitalize on the vaccination campaign. Over the past year, there has been a whole slew of scams exploiting the topic of COVID, and many of them have been successful.
Right now, not only are people selling doses of the vaccine, they are also selling vaccination cards – pieces of paper that can help you travel freely. It’s important that users are wary of any pandemic-related “deals” and, of course, it’s never a good idea to buy a vaccine on the Darknet, ”comments Dmitry Galov, security expert at Kaspersky.
Learn more about these Darknet vaccines on Kdaily (https://bit.ly/3rj1Ld3).
To stay safe from scammers in the time of COVID, Kaspersky experts recommend:
- Never buy products – including vaccine doses – from the Darknet.
- If you see an advertisement for something related to COVID, take a close look at the URLs of the sites you visit. If a single letter does not seem out of place, or if the usual .com has been replaced by .com.tk or something like that, your gut should tell you it’s phishing. Never enter personal information on such a site.
- Pay attention to the grammar and layout of the sites you visit and the emails you receive. If something smacks of phishy, it probably is.
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