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Fraudulent Covid-19 vaccines up for sale on the Dark Web for $1,000 in BTC

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The topic of administering Covid-19 vaccines has been making waves since the virus started spreading globally in 2020. Although a few have been approved, their distribution is currently facing some difficulties. And this has enabled fraudsters to promote vaccines on the dark web, requesting $1,000 per dose in BTC.

Covid-19 vaccines on the dark web for BTC

Ideally, vaccines require years of research and testing before reaching people. However, the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a state-of-emergency globally, as scientists were required to produce effective vaccines within a short time.

According to the New York Times, 65 tested vaccines are undergoing clinical trials on humans, and 20 have reached the final stages. A few more have received approval, and distribution began in December 2020. Nonetheless, the production in such massive quantities has caused delays, and some people, out of desperation, have started looking for alternatives. This is where fraudsters using the dark web to scam people became an issue.

A report from Check Point, a cybersecurity company, cites a large inflow of vendors claiming to sell approved and effective Covid-19 vaccines on the dark web. As expected, the price seems relatively high as a single dose of a vaccine could go for $250, $500, or even $1,000. But vendors have requested all payments to be transferred via Bitcoin.

An excerpt from the report:

“All the listings for vaccines require Bitcoin for payment. Bitcoin used to be regarded as an anonymous form of payment, but has recently become more traceable.”

Fraudulent Covid-19 vaccines for sale on the dark web

Issues with the Dark Web vaccines

The vaccines displayed on the dark web have several significant problems. Check Point’s investigation concluded that the vendors had not delivered the vaccines even after receiving payments.

Some company researchers also placed an order for one vaccine dose after a vendor contacted them via Telegram and offered a vaccine made in China for $750 in Bitcoin. The researchers made payments and provided their delivery address, but the vendor erased his account. And at the time of writing, the package is yet to arrive.

In addition to that, other issues include listings that contradict official medical supervision on the required doses. Check Point further contacted another seller who displayed an unknown Covid-19 vaccine for $300 in BTC but claimed that the patient needs to consume fourteen doses instead of the approved two doses.

While investigations are still ongoing to track these fraudsters, we advise individuals to be wary of purchasing any form of vaccine from the dark web.

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