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Exploiting our COVID-19 fears on the dark web

Of course, at a time like this, people are susceptible to offers of PPE or drugs to help prevent or manage COVID-19. And, of course, the users of the dark web are obliging. 

An essential element of training and informing our staff and customers is to make sure they understand such offers are highly likely to be fraudulent and, even if legitimate, are highly risky and may constitute funding organised crime or terrorism.

Since the beginning of the global pandemic, marketplaces on the dark web have seen a rise in Covid-19 related products and services. Sought-after N95 masks, gowns, gloves and the drug chloroquine have all been listed on these marketplaces. Last month, security software firm IntSights found blood allegedly belonging to recovered coronavirus patients was even being offered for sale. Criminals hope a heightened sense of fear will make people rush to buy these products, and as a result these items are not cheap; an Australian Institute of Criminology report found the average fake vaccine was being sold for about $370 (£300), while one supposedly sourced from China was selling for between $10-15,000 (£8-12,000).

Tags

digital, covid-19, risk
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