Scammers Rush to Exploit Those Desperate to Get the Covid-19 Vaccine

By | February 14, 2021
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Scammers Rush to Exploit Those Desperate to Get the Covid-19 Vaccine

As the Covid-19 vaccine rollout ramps up, more people are trying to get their Covid-19 vaccinations.  And as we reminded you before, whenever the demand outstrips the supply, scammers are more than happy to step in and exploit the situation.

We just read another excellent article that can help you stay safe and avoid the scams and scammers that are becoming ubiquitous on social media and on the web. 

We don’t want to see a single one of you get exploited by these clever miscreants who are out to trick you into giving them money for nothing.

We hope you’ll take a few minutes to read this article from (Recode), written by Rebecca Heilweil. It just may save YOU a lot of grief and a lot of money.

Online scammers are rushing to exploit people desperate to get the Covid-19 vaccine

From forged vaccine cards to fake appointments, here are the online Covid-19 scams to watch out for.

By Rebecca Heilweil,

Many Americans are eager to get the Covid-19 vaccine as quickly as possible. But that inevitably means there are scammers ready to use the internet to take advantage of these vaccine seekers to steal their money and personal information.

Similar to earlier in the pandemic, when fraudsters flooded the internet with ads for sketchy “cures,” bogus Covid-19 tests, and scarce personal protective equipment, online schemers are now selling fake vaccine appointments and knockoff vaccine cards. (These cards document the date that vaccinated people received their doses, the manufacturer of their vaccine, and its batch number; they’re seen as a record of vaccination.)

Vaccine schemes are alarming. In late January, one man in Washington state was arrested after advertising fake Covid-19 vaccines online for as much as $1,000, and even injected people with an unknown substance, according to the Department of Justice, which is investigating these types of fraud cases.

“We’re not surprised scammers are taking advantage of this opportunity because each of the states are rolling out the vaccine a little bit differently,” Sandra Guile of the Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit that focuses on consumer and marketplace trust, told Recode. The organization has warned people that posting images of their vaccine cards on social media — in order to celebrate their inoculation — is only making things worse. Not only are these images making it easier to copy the cards, but social media users are also exposing their personal information and making themselves more vulnerable to identity theft.

People are selling fake vaccine cards online

The target audience for fake vaccine cards is people who think the cards might help them move around and travel more quickly — or avoid getting vaccinated. Tracy Walker, who lives in Hawaii, told Recode that one of her neighbors has been using their personal Facebook page to offer others fake vaccination cards, which were — according to the post, which was viewed by Recode — “[p]rinted on cardstock with laser.”

Right now, these cards are primarily being used as a way for people to record their own vaccination histories, and the card does remind users to keep it handy. It’s possible that this card might be used as proof of inoculation for other purposes sometime in the future.

Walker said she reported the post as “a fraud or scam” to Facebook, only to receive a notice that the post did not violate Facebook’s rules. She said she also reported the post to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and her police department (who reported it to the state health department). The post is still up as of publication time. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment about this post.

”If that’s something you have to do to be able to move about your life, assume the scammers are going to create a scam around it,” says Kristin Judge, of the Cybercrime Support Network, pointing to both fake Covid-19 vaccination cards and fake Covid-19 test results that have popped up amid the pandemic.

These schemes are showing up in different corners of the internet, including on eBay, in Google ads, and on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter, Recode found at least one account purporting to sell vaccines and another selling vaccination cards. Twitter did not provide comment on these accounts.

Chad Anderson, a senior researcher at the cybersecurity threat intelligence firm DomainTools, where he’s been regularly tracking vaccine-related websites throughout the pandemic, told Recode he thinks that the fake card business is only likely to bloom. He’s already seen them being advertised on everything from Shopify-supported shops to the dark web.

“You can just go to Instagram and siphon off people’s batch numbers and just put it on your own fake vaccine card,” he told Recode. “In the US today, we are relying on these cards. They’re extremely easy to fake. Anyone can print one out with the right cardstock.”

Authorities, including the CDC, told Recode they’re aware of the problem, and a spokesperson for the inspector general’s office at the Health and Human Services Department said it has received several reports of scams involving fraudulent vaccine cards. “It is unconscionable that scammers would prey on people’s fear and use the ongoing public health crisis for personal gain,” the representative told Recode.

The World Health Organization added that fake vaccine paperwork can be especially dangerous because it’s unlikely to be reported to national health authorities, and can exacerbate the spread of disease…

Read the rest of this article on Vox,com

3 thoughts on “Scammers Rush to Exploit Those Desperate to Get the Covid-19 Vaccine

  1. JonInOz

    Hi TC & Darcy,
    Very interesting that scammers are rushing to be injected with poison.
    Here in Queensland, Australia, Anti-Social Separation is not wanted, needed
    or to be conned by any other ‘Population Control’…..aka, “The Factor Of Fear.”
    Before Covid-19 how many people died annually in the USA (statistics don’t lie}
    How many US citizens died in 2020………a pity that your news media never publish
    the truth, the same in Australia, but Aussie media cannot ever win, Australians are not gullible fools.
    None of our stores can sell the masks they stocked, not even give them to customers.

  2. D.

    You know maybe the rest of the world should have asked Queensland, Australia what to do before they spent all that money on buying or coming up with their own Covid-19 vaccines. I’m sure that was expensive, and I guess they put a little thought into it before spending that much money (a lot). Each country saw what was happening in their own country. It is not like this was isolated.

    From what I have seen a lot of people just don’t take it serious until it happens close by, or they get it.

    My neighbor was sick for 10 days and his girlfriend 2 days with this. How do you run a business if people are out sick like that. How do you go out there and look for business if you don’t know if you can even meet the order on time.

    I have been listening to my friends in manufacturing, how they have them separated out on the lines to try to keep things going in automotive etc. We can’t keep running like this people!

  3. D.

    Here is what I think JonInOz is talking about in his country. I would read all of this link to get an idea. As I said each country is different in what is going on.

    More than one-third of the respondents to Nature’s survey thought that it would be possible to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 from some regions while it continued to circulate in others. In zero-COVID regions, there would be a continual risk of disease outbreaks, but they could be quenched quickly by herd immunity if most people had been vaccinated. “I guess COVID will be eliminated from some countries, but with a continuing (and maybe seasonal) risk of reintroduction from places where vaccine coverage and public-health measures have not been good enough,” says Christopher Dye, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, UK.

    “The virus becoming endemic is likely, but the pattern that it will take is hard to predict,” says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist from Georgetown University, who is based in Seattle, Washington. This will determine the societal costs of SARS-CoV-2 for 5, 10 or even 50 years in the future (see ‘Coronavirus: here to stay?’).


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