One is not Immune to Vaccine Fraud

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Ideologues and Criminals see the Corona Vaccination as a Chance for a Big Coup 

Many see the vaccination against Corona as a great opportunity. Not all of them mean the same thing. For it seems that the chances for criminals to make huge profit margins increase exponentially, and with that, their criminal energy. From hacker attacks against vaccine manufacturers, to physical assaults by vaccination opponents, a dark field of fraud through alleged vaccine sales, to possible robberies of transports of the coveted serum, a kaleidoscope of offences presents itself. So far, it has been an isolated case that – as reported from the US state of Wisconsin at the beginning of the year – a medical employee destroyed vaccines. The hospital employee had willfully destroyed over 550 doses of Moderna vaccine in a hospital pharmacy. He is convinced that the vaccine triggers gene mutations. According to the hospital management, the medic admitted to putting the unrefrigerated and therefore unusable vaccines back in the refrigerator later, which resulted in 57 people being vaccinated with the ineffective drug. The incident makes it clear how much human lives can be endangered even by such singular acts.

Vaccinations Discredited by the State

A similar incident occurred in the intensive care unit of East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, south of London. Only with the help of the police was it possible to prevent a group of corona deniers from “freeing” a patient there at the end of January. Tobe Hayden Leigh, who is known throughout the country for his crude theories, and like-minded people wanted to achieve the “release” of a seriously ill patient.

The extent to which militant opposition to vaccination can have was demonstrated two years ago in Pakistan. Unknown persons had killed a polio vaccination worker in Balochistan province in April 2019. The woman was part of a team conducting polio vaccinations in the town of Chaman, near the Afghan border. In Pakistan, vaccination teams had been attacked before and aid workers had also been killed. Radical Islamists believe that the vaccinations are part of a conspiracy by the West and serve to make Muslims infertile. For years, vaccination campaigns in Pakistan have been accompanied by violence, writes the “Ärzteblatt”. One reason for this is: “At one time, the US foreign intelligence service CIA had launched an alleged vaccination campaign in Pakistan, which helped to track down the Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In May 2011, US soldiers killed bin Laden in his hideout in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad.” Putting trust in vaccinations at risk with such games can be called irresponsible, to say the least.

“Vaccine Hoarded by Rich States”

Lives and health on a large scale are at stake in the distribution of the coveted serum. “So far, almost all of Moderna’s and BioNTech’s vaccine is being hoarded by rich states,” wrote Business Insider at the end of January. This makes it clear that we are heading for a tougher distribution battle. Besides conspiracy believers, it is primarily criminals who want to do their own thing.

“While governments are preparing for the introduction of vaccines, criminal organisations are planning to infiltrate or disrupt the supply chains,” warns Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock and specifies in an interview with “WirtschaftsWoche”: “Vaccine is the liquid gold of 2021. It is the most valuable thing to be distributed in the coming year. The mafia and other criminal organisations are already prepared. As the vaccines are distributed, crime will increase dramatically. We will see thefts and warehouse break-ins and attacks on vaccine shipments; corruption will be spreading in many places to get the valuable good faster. Even before vaccine was licensed, by the way, criminals were distributing fake vaccine.”

Fraud via Darknet and Cryptocurrency

The coveted substance is to be brought to the people through dark channels – via the darknet. Sometimes only allegedly. Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., headquartered in Tel Aviv, is constantly dealing with this topic and monitoring the black market, including the black sheep who merely want to fool hopeful customers and short-change them. Prices for vaccines have risen sharply, the company says. In its last report, Check Point says it “found an average median price of $250.” Now, research shows “suppliers have doubled or even quadrupled their prices, charging $500 or even up to $1,000 for an unspecified dose,” the company said on its website on 12 January. In order to check the trustworthiness of sellers on the darknet, the company said it placed an order for a vaccine dose with a supplier and used the controversial messenger service “Telegram” for the transaction. The dose, allegedly of Chinese origin, was offered for

750 US $. The payment was processed via the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Conclusion of “Check Point”: “After a few days without a reply, we received a message from the seller that the vaccine had been sent to our address. A few days later, the seller’s account was deleted and – you guessed it – we’re still waiting to receive our package.”

In this country, fraudsters attempt to use the time elderly citizens spent waiting for a vaccination appointment for their own tricks. In Bonn, a caller offered a woman a “first Corona vaccine package” for 6000 Euros. The 64-year-old woman, who did not fall for the trick, told the press: “The caller pretended to be an employee of the company BioNTech/Pfizer and I saw a mobile phone number on the display. I immediately had doubts. The way he spoke – sometimes he tried to be serious, but then there were slacks.” The offender was arrested.

“Corona means: bad times for burglars, good times for fraudsters,” the chairman of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, emphasised to the “Welt”.

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