Supposed COVID-19 vaccines for sale on the dark web for $250 – $1200

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Before we dive into this story we need to state that you should never buy anything off of a shady website on the dark web. While tensions are high following a nearly year long lockdown, you never know what you’re buying if it’s even anything at all.

Right, let’s dive into this mess then shall we.

Scammers and sundry are currently selling supposed COVID-19 vaccines on the dark web according to a report from Kaspersky.

The cybersecurity firm has reported that adverts for vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna have been found on at least 15 dark web marketplaces.

“You can find just about anything on the Darknet, so it’s not surprising sellers there would attempt to capitalise on the vaccination campaign,” says security expert, Dmitry Galov.

Prices for the supposed vaccines range from $250 to $1 200 though Kaspersky reports the average price is $500.

A COVID-19 vaccine advert on a dark web marketplace. Bitcoin is the primary method of payment. Image via Kaspersky.

What is mighty concerning is that, according to the firm, these sellers have completed between 100 and 500 transactions.

“With the information available to Kaspersky experts, it’s impossible to tell how many of the vaccines doses being advertised online are actual doses (many medical facilities have found themselves with leftover doses) and how many advertisements are a scam,” the firm explains.

What’s more is that even if somebody lucks out and gets a genuine vaccine, there is no guarantee it will work as intended. This is because transportation of the COVID-19 vaccines must be done with adherence to strict conditions including temperature.

Sellers appear to be coming from France, Germany, the UK and the USA and sellers are reportedly using the likes of Wickr and Telegram to communicate with customers.

“Over the past year, there have been a whole host of scams exploiting the COVID topic, and many of them have been successful. Right now, not only are people selling vaccine doses, but they’re also selling vaccination records – pieces of paper that can help you travel freely. It’s important for users to be cautious of any ‘deal’ related to the pandemic, and, of course, it’s never a good idea to buy a vaccine off the Darknet,” says Galov.

Yes, you read that right, folks are buying fake vaccination certificates.

In Russia one can purchase a fake certificate for $50 – $70 but once again, you’re buying something off of the dark web in hopes that the product matches what you paid. This is not a good idea and forging an official document is a recipe for a bad time.

We get it, the fatigue of waiting for vaccinations is reaching breaking point but dealing with would-be scammers on the dark web is only going to cost you money and if you get a fake vaccine, well then things could get worse.

We know it sucks but your turn for a proper vaccine. At least Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna have some accountability, unlike the scammers on the dark web.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.

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