Watch out for COVID-19 vaccine scams
There has been a huge upsurge in scams since the start of the global COVID-19 outbreak. Fake treatments, fake versions of real treatments, fake medical products including personal protective equipment, and fraud surrounding everything from unemployment payments to business relief aid.
COVID-19 vaccines are modern medical miracles produced in record time with a high effectiveness rate. Everyone should get one, but the rollout will take time. In the meantime COVID scammers are preying on the public to try and make a buck, and in some cases, endangering their lives.
We've seen three broad categories of crime
Vaccines Signups Dangled for Financial and Identity Theft
COVID scammers create fake vaccination signup websites and ask for money or personal information, presumably for future identity theft. They promote the sites to victims in email or via text message.
Diversion: Shots For Sale Where They Shouldn't Be
Diversion is the term for when legitimate medical products end up somewhere unexpected in the supply chain. There's no guarantee that sensitive products have been kept at the right temperatures, and sometimes when they re-enter the supply chain they are mixed in with counterfeits.
Fake Substances Sold As Vaccines
In just a few months, there have been an alarming number of incidents, large and small, in which scammers have tried to pass off entirely fake vaccines as real. Many have even been injected into patients.