Latest Coronavirus Scams: Fake Vaccines – FindLaw


Suspicious man in a suit, wearing a surgical protective face mask and sunglasses.  Deals in counterfeit vials and syringes for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).  He opens a jacket and shows the hidden syringes and a carton of vaccine bottles.  Note: The QR code on the bottles was created by me and contains generic text: "SARS-CoV-2 vaccine"

OK, this is Was expected.

We are talking about vaccine scams, which are the latest attempt by sinister thieves who see the Coronavirus as a golden opportunity to exploit people’s fears.

Coronavirus scams have taken on a variety of forms – many that are difficult to track – as COVID-19 has spread across the country. There were snake oil sellers Fake “cures”, Paying stimulus and unemployment fraud, Investment scamsAnd and Fake charity fraud.

Now that approved vaccines are released to the public, fraudsters are seeing a new opportunity – especially since vaccine rollout is slow and people are anxious about the wait.

Fake vaccines, fake sites

On January 5th Reuters She reported that on the Agartha dark web forum, vials of fake COVID-19 vaccines were being offered for $ 500 and $ 1000 or the equivalent in Bitcoin. On another dark web site, there was a person claiming to be from the Wuhan Institute of Science providing COVID-19 vaccines in exchange for donations and information about the donors’ medical history.

Reuters also reported that several channels on the messaging app Telegram have claimed to offer COVID-19 vaccines. “A user offered Moderna’s vaccines for $ 180, and claimed that the vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE could be obtained for $ 150 and AstraZeneca for $ 110 per bottle.”

Other fraudsters seek to obtain victims’ personal information. In December, federal agents Remove sites To fake biotech companies whose real goal was to obtain personal information that they could use “for nefarious purposes, including fraud, phishing attacks, and / or malware propagation,” according to the US District Attorney’s Office for Maryland.

Another form these scams take is promising buyers the opportunity to “jump the line” to receive the vaccination sooner than they’re allowed under government distribution priority rules. And among those scams making their way across the country is the automated connection it claims to be Let people skip ahead By sending $ 79.99 to get a Pfizer vaccine.

Federalists issuing warnings

The FBI and other federal agencies released jointly Warning In December, the public was warned to be aware of these vaccine scams. The agencies offered several tips to avoid being victimized by the vaccine fraudster:

  • Consult your state’s health department website for current information about vaccine delivery channels, and get your vaccine only through those channels.
  • Consult your primary care physician before getting any vaccinations.
  • Never share your personal or health information with anyone other than trusted medical professionals.
  • Follow the directions of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other trusted medical professionals.

Meanwhile, if you or a loved one has been victimized by a fraudster, it is important to report this to law enforcement authorities. The US Department of Justice’s National Disaster Fraud Center provides A. Complaint form Which you can fill out and send. Also, most state attorney offices have consumer protection departments that may also provide reporting forms, such as This one is from Minnesota.

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