Certificates of fake vaccines, fake negative test results and labeled as “COVID-19 vaccines” being whipped into the dark web, a new report said this week. Checkpoint Research, an American-Israeli IT and cybersecurity firm, recently published an investigation into how paddlers on the Dark Web jumped into the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
According to their report, the number of online enrollments for the COVID-19 vaccine has increased over the past few months. In January 2021, Checkpoint reported how Dark Net advertised illegal COVID-19 vaccines with hundreds of posts ranging from $500 to $1,000 per dose. Now, they say the number of ads has tripled to more than 1,200 by mid-March. Vaccines advertised include Oxford-AstraZeneca (about $ 500), Johnson & Johnson ($ 600), Russian Sputnik V vaccine ($ 600) and Chinese Sinopharm vaccine ($ 500). Vaccine sellers appear to have come from the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France and Russia, but their identities are unclear.
All payments are bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to ensure that the seller or buyer cannot identified through the payment transaction.
The very bad idea of buying uncontrolled drugs from shady online marketplaces is that the evidence of vaccines sold on the Dark Web is completely unknown; these could stolen, they could be imitations of real vaccines, or they could just be bogus shots with saline solution. Either way, no doctor will recommend injecting these things into your body. On top of the vaccines, Dark Web vendors are also selling fake documents including fake negative COVID-19 test papers and fake vaccine certificates.
A UK vendor thought to have offered a $150 custom vaccine certificate, which included a personalized handwriting with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as a badge as if written by a medical professional. Other lists advertised negative COVID-19 test results, claiming, “For travelers abroad, we test negative COVID to get a job. Etc. everything is done within 24 hours without a large deposit.” The post added, “Buy 2 negative tests and get the third one for free!”