COVID-19 Scams: Phishing Campaigns Targeting the COVID-19 Vaccine Cold Chain

7 April 2021  

Scammers always look for a chance to take advantage of people, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created endless opportunities for these criminals. The rollout of vaccines across the globe has created yet another opportunity for scammers and criminals. Criminals are now offering fake COVID-19 vaccine certificates as the latest of their scams.

Sales of Fake Vaccine Cards

Fraudsters are setting up online stores and advertising the sale of vaccine certificates through social media platforms. Authorities designed vaccine certificates to help keep track of who has received the vaccine.

A flourishing black market of these vaccine cards has emerged, offering the buyers a chance to obtain the benefits of inoculation without having to take the vaccine.

Russia is one of the countries to have reported a rise in sales of counterfeit coronavirus vaccination certificates. Reportedly, some Russians are purchasing vaccination certificates through Telegram for about $25.

Israel is another country that has faced a similar problem, with its vaccine certificates susceptible to forgery.

Scammers are taking advantage of many people’s mistrust of the vaccine to peddle their counterfeit cards.

Vaccine Certificate ID Theft

Being inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine has made many people excited to have some immunity against the coronavirus. Many people share photos of their vaccination cards, placing themselves at risk of identity theft.

The problem with sharing this news, including your vaccination card, is that it makes it easy for criminals to gather critical information that they can use to scam you. The card contains information such as your name, birthday, and the place where you got the vaccine.

Scammers can easily fill up details of your identity with some of the information they obtain online and use it to commit other forms of identity theft, including financial identity theft.

In addition to giving away your personally identifiable information, posting a vaccine card online provides scammers with the blueprint they need to create fake certificates.

How You Can Share Your Good News and Remain Safe

After a year of limitations thanks to the virus, being vaccinated offers a promise of returning to a sense of normalcy. Therefore, it is understandable that you want to share your good news with your friends and family.

You can still share the fact that you are vaccinated with friends and family by posting a photo of yourself holding a vaccination sticker. The sticker says you received the vaccine, but does not reveal any of your information. Alternatively, you could show off your injection site.

Also, make sure that you have the right privacy settings on your social media platforms so that only a small group of friends and family can see your posts. However, you should still be careful about what you post. These friends could also share the information on your profile with other people outside your inner circle.

Conclusion

Scammers are taking every opportunity to take advantage and profit from the pandemic. The least you can do is to take steps to protect yourself from these criminals’ fraudulent schemes.. Some steps you can take include not sharing your vaccine certificate online, and of course, not purchasing fake vaccination certificates.