There are already scams with vaccines and tests – World

Criminals offer fake vaccines, and anti-vaccines send false vaccination messages. Europol warns that there are already various forms of fraud and appeals for vigilance, Deutsche Welle reports.

“We have sent a warning to the EU member states, and a call to be very vigilant,” European Police Director Catherine de Ball told Funke media groups. According to her, there is a real danger that criminal groups will try to take advantage of the high demand for vaccines.

There have already been cases of vaccines being offered that have not been delivered at all after payment. As well as cases of counterfeit preparations. De Ball also said that ads for vaccines on social networks have already been detected.

At the same time, the director of Europol warned that attempts to steal vaccines during their transportation are possible, but stressed that special cooperation has been organized within the EU for the protection of transport.

Frauds under the tested scheme

Phone scammers have already identified the “potential” of the vaccines and, for example, in Bonn, have offered a 64-year-old woman an “Coronavirus immunization package” for 6,000 euros. However, the woman suspected the trap, apparently agreed to the deal and called the police. A little later, a 51-year-old man rang her doorbell to take the money. The woman invited him in so the police could catch him.

In Bonn alone, there are eight known cases of such fraud, and according to police, such attempted fraud is already a fact throughout Germany – in most cases the calls were from foreign call centers. The fraudsters pretended to be employees of health insurance funds, doctors’ offices or pharmaceutical companies and offered a vaccine for a fee.

In the town of Emden, in the state of Lower Saxony, fraudsters tried to sell ten doses of the vaccine to a 93-year-old woman over the phone. In Friedberg, Bavaria, an 88-year-old man received a call and was told he had been chosen to be vaccinated but had to pay 499 euros in advance.

On this occasion, the chairman of the German Patient Protection Foundation Eugen Brich pointed out that vaccinations are generally free. “Beware of fraudsters who ring your doorbell and pretend to be a mobile immunization team. No one will come to your home without an appointment for vaccination,” he said. At the same time, the Bonn police warn that if someone offers a vaccine over the phone, the police must be notified immediately.

“Only sleeping sheep are allowed to be vaccinated”

Criminals are trying to take advantage not only of vaccines but also of rapid coronavirus tests: tests have now been smuggled into Germany and are now being sold illegally, including in supermarkets and petrol stations. The tests are generally safe, but if the testing is performed by a non-professional, there is a danger that the result will be negative without it.

Among other things, the police found that forged letters were being sent – for example, with a specific time for immunization. The letters were not only precisely addressed, but the health service was also registered as the sender. These letters contained a QR code, and after scanning it with a smartphone, the following inscription appeared, apparently the work of anti-vaxers: “Only sleeping sheep are left to be vaccinated and take on the role of guinea pigs for pharmaceutical companies.”