Covid 19 chaos is being used by fraudsters – US government encourages this confusion

The world is getting more and more caught up by Corona. But not only by the virus itself. Criminals and even states take the opportunity to deceive the people. Thanks to Arie Wubben for sharing their work on Unsplash.

@EurObsIT has always claimed it – now other media are joining in and authorities are confirming: There is a significant increase in fraud, which takes advantage of the loopholes in the regulations or plays on the fear of the population.

The approaches that criminals are using to make money through the crisis are manifold. Interpol reports: “Analysis has confirmed that cybercriminals are capitalizing on the anxiety caused by COVID-19 through various cyberattacks such as data-harvesting malware, ransomware, online scams and phishing.“

3M, famous for its mouth-nose protection masks, feels compelled to prominently warn against counterfeit products on its own website: “Examples include people fraudulently representing themselves as being affiliated with 3M and having authentic 3M product to sell, selling (or offering to sell) 3M products at grossly inflated prices, selling counterfeit products falsely claimed to be from 3M, and falsely claiming to manufacture 3M products. In many cases, these scammers will try and secure funds in advance and then disappear once the money is received.“ This kind of measure that the manufacturers of originals are normally reluctant to take, since it generally increases the fear of the company’s products.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated there is a clear nexus between global heath and global security. The need for law enforcement cooperation to keep pace with these evolving and unexpected threats has never been greater,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock. He is concerned about the fuzz and the unclear situation in which many people and states are.

The examples are accumulating – worldwide. The US national Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received over 52,000 complaints about counterfeit products and misleading services since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The estimated damage caused by this is around 38 billion US dollars for a period of only the last 4 months. 

How badly the crisis is being managed by some governments can be seen in the example of the USA. There, the US authorities  jump on the “fake train” themselves. The “U.S. Department of Health and Health Services” (HHS) itself announces: “HHS and AstraZeneca are collaborating to make available at least 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine called AZD1222, with the first doses delivered as early as October 2020”. 

The problem? It is not about regulation or testing here. There is no vaccine available at this time. So nothing can be delivered in October 2020. It’s like trying to speed up a car with no wheels.