Interpol has issued a global alert to law enforcement around the world, warning them that organized crime networks may try to sell fake Covid-19 vaccines or steal real supplies.
The France-based Global Police Coordination Agency said on Wednesday it had issued an orange alert to police forces in its 194 member states, warning them to prepare for vaccines to be targeted at once physically and online.
He said the pandemic had already triggered “unprecedented opportunistic and predatory criminal behavior” and warned of a new wave of criminal activity “in connection with the falsification, theft and illegal advertising of Covid-19 vaccines. “.
The agency called for close coordination between health regulators and law enforcement as vaccines move closer to approval and distribution to ensure the safety of the supply chain and d ” Identify illicit websites selling counterfeits.
As governments prepare to roll out mass vaccination programs, criminal gangs “plan to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains, and also target the public via bogus websites and bogus medicine that could pose a problem. a significant risk to their health, even their life, ”said Interpol General Secretary Jürgen Stock, said.
“It is essential that law enforcement is as prepared as possible for what will be an attack of all types of criminal activity related to the Covid-19 vaccine,” he said.
The agency said criminal gangs were also very likely to start parallel production and distribution of ‘unauthorized and falsified’ coronavirus test kits as international travel resumes and airlines and immigration authorities increasingly required passengers to produce a negative test result.
Interpol has also warned the public to be especially careful when searching online for medical equipment or drugs. He said people were exposed not only to potentially deadly products, but also to cyber threats.
An analysis by its cybercrime unit of around 3,000 online pharmaceutical websites suspected of selling illicit products showed that more than 1,700 contained phishing or spam malware, the agency said.
“It is important to be vigilant, skeptical and sure, as are usually offers that sound too good to be true,” the agency said.