Society & Lifestyle

Interpol warns about organized crime risks to COVID-19 vaccines

The pandemic has already caused unprecedented opportunistic and predatory criminal behavior

Interpol COVID-19

Interpol warns about organized crime risks to COVID-19 vaccines. Source: pexels.com

Interpol has issued a global alert to law enforcement agencies in 194 participating countries to prepare for organized criminality networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines.

The Interpol Orange Notice describes probable criminal activity against the counterfeiting, theft, and unlawful COVID-19 advertisements and flu vaccines.

It also includes examples of crimes in which people advertised, sold, and used counterfeit vaccines.

As a number of COVID-19 vaccines move closer to approbation and universal spreading, securing the supply chain and identifying illegal websites selling fraud products will be primary.

The coordination necessity among law enforcement and health regulators will also play an important role in ensuring people’s safety and the community’s well-being.

As international travel gradually resumes, it is most likely that testing for the virus will become more important, resulting in the parallel production and unauthorized and faked test kits spreading.

As governments are preparing to roll out vaccines, criminal organizations are planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains. Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives
Jürgen Stock, Interpol Secretary General

In addition to the dangers associated with ordering potentially life-threatening goods, Interpol’s Cybercrime Unit found that 3,000 online pharmacy-related websites suspected of selling illegal drugs and medical devices. About 1,700 contain cyber threats, particularly programs for phishing and sending spam.

We’ve reported that Interpol arrested three Nigerian cybercriminals.

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