Amidst the rising concerns related to Covid 19 and the vaccines, Israel-based researchers have found an online market that sells fake vaccines and test certificates in the United Kingdom.
Over 1200 Vendors Sell Fake Covid 19 Reports in the UK
Reports suggest that there are over 1200 vendors on the dark web who are selling fake Covid vaccines and test certificates on platforms like Whatsapp, Jabber, and Telegram. The vendors are selling false documents for 25 pounds to their customers.
Check Point, a cybersecurity firm found evidence of forgeries of vaccine cards issued by the UK National Health Service and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. They found fake test certificates and some products that claimed to be the Covid vaccines.
The researchers found out that the number of these vendors has increased from 20 on the dark web in November last year to 600 in January this year and more than 1200 in March 2021. The majority of the people caught with fake negative Covid test certificates in the UK were mainly from the poorer nations like African, South American, and Asian countries.
Apart from the anti-vaxxers, there are people who have refused to take the vaccine jabs on the grounds of baseless conspiracy theories and disinformation. Liad Mizrachi, Senior Researcher at the Check Point said that these individuals tend to buy these forged certificates.
Beginning of Pandemic Saw Masks and Drugs on Sale
Researchers say that the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 saw that the darknet was selling face masks, protective equipment, and drugs on sale. Initially, Sinovac (Chinese vaccine) and Sputnik V (Russian vaccine) were on sale. Later Pfizer and Moderna vaccines also joined in the list.
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“After vaccinations, the next step was the certificates and negative tests,” researchers added.
They also said that the people who post images of themselves holding the cards on social media unknowingly contribute to the forgery. Unless there is an official global database for recording people’s vaccination status, fakes and forgeries are likely to move forward.