Officials warn of scammers claiming to have COVID vaccines for sale


Law enforcement officers are warning of a rising quantity of on-line scams tied to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Demand for the vaccine is fueling a brand new kind of scam: Vaccines for sale, in accordance to a report from Digital Citizens Alliance and Coalition for a Safer Web — two nonprofits that target web security. The report, obtained by CBS News, is ready to be launched Tuesday.

“Our investigation found that there are criminals and scammers who are preying on Americans who are desperate to get the vaccine,” mentioned investigator Tom Galvin.

Investigators say they discovered sellers by Facebook posts, like one referring to a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine to get round Facebook’s defenses. Once the investigators clicked on Facebook messenger within the hyperlink, somebody tried to promote them a vaccine produced by Sinovac, which is not accepted for use within the United States.

“It’s not even about selling the vaccine. Maybe it’s just about financial fraud, separating the person from their money,” illicit drug knowledgeable Eric Feinberg mentioned.

Galvin mentioned he paid $175 for the Pfizer vaccine from one other on-line vendor. So far, all he is gotten is a letter asking for extra money.

They’re pushing social media firms to do extra. The investigators argue that if they’ll discover these pages, the businesses, giants that they’re, ought to give you the chance to as properly.

The Department of Homeland Security mentioned these websites have gotten a rising drawback.

“There are dozens of them out there. We are regularly encountering them. We are taking them down on a daily basis. We’re working with other law enforcement, with prosecutors to take them down,” mentioned Michael Alfonso, an assistant particular agent in cost for Homeland Security Investigations.

The backside line, he mentioned: There isn’t any official vaccine for sale.

After CBS News flagged Facebook to these pages, they took them down and mentioned they have expanded efforts to take away vaccine misinformation.