Interpol warns that COVID-19 vaccines could be targeted by criminals

"As governments are preparing to roll out vaccines, criminal organizations are planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains," said Interpol's secretary-general.

The Interpol logo (photo credit: REUTERS)
The Interpol logo
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Interpol global police coordination agency warned on Wednesday that organized criminal networks could be targeting COVID-19 vaccines, and could attempt to sell fake shots.
Interpol, whose headquarters are in the French city of Lyon, said it had issued a global alert to law enforcement across its 194 member countries, warning them to prepare for organized crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online, including examples of crimes where individuals have been advertising, selling and administering fake vaccines. 
"As governments are preparing to roll out vaccines, criminal organizations are planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains," said Interpol secretary-general Juergen Stock. 
"Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives," he said.
In its statement, Interpol also stressed the need for coordination between law enforcement and health regulatory bodies, saying that it will play a vital role to ensure the safety of individuals and the well-being of communities.
“It is essential that law enforcement is as prepared as possible for what will be an onslaught of all types of criminal activity linked to the COVID-19 vaccine, which is why Interpol has issued this global warning,” Stock concluded. 
In addition to the dangers of ordering potentially life-threatening products, an analysis by Interpol Cybercrime Unit revealed that of 3,000 websites associated with online pharmacies suspected of selling illicit medicines and medical devices, around 1,700 contained cyber threats, especially phishing and spamming malware. 


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