COVID-19 vaccines could be targeted by criminals, warns Interpol
PARIS: The Interpol global police co-ordination agency warned on Wednesday that organised criminal networks could be targeting COVID-19 vaccines, and could look to sell fake shots.
Interpol, which is headquartered in France, said it had issued a global alert to law enforcement across its 194 member countries, warning them to prepare for organised crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online.
“As governments are preparing to roll out vaccines, criminal organisations are planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains. Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives,” said Interpol secretary general Juergen Stock.
With an increasing amount of COVID-related frauds, Interpol is also advising members of the public to take special care when going online to search for medical equipment or medicines.
In addition to the dangers of ordering potentially life-threatening products, an analysis by the Interpol’s Cybercrime Unit revealed that of 3,000 websites associated with online pharmacies suspected of selling illicit medicines and medical devices, around 1,700 contained cyber threats, especially phishing and spamming malware.
To avoid falling victim to online scams, it is important to be vigilant, be skeptical and be safe, as offers which appear too good to be true usually are. Always check with your national health authorities or the World Health Organization for the latest health advice in relation to COVID-19.