While the fight against COVID is far from ended, with the Globe Health Organization stating that the Delta version has spread to 185 nations, the world is also facing a significant threat: bogus vaccine certificates in black market.
Vaccination is critical in the fight against COVID, but the black market for false vaccine certificates poses a serious concern – it’s not simply a criminal; a fake certificate jeopardizes everyone’s health. The underground market for phoney vaccine certificates has reportedly expanded tenfold in the last few months, as an increasing number of countries adopt vaccine certificates to track immunization status among their populations.
The fact that it’s available on Telegram and WhatsApp is cause for concern in and of itself. Fake certificates were primarily sold on the dark web earlier this year, which meant that accessing these certificates required some level of technological knowledge. However, apps like Telegram have made them widely available.
In recent months, the number of Telegram group members has risen from 30,000 to 300,000. While people pay anywhere from 150€ to 250€ for these certificates – with Singapore supposedly being a large market – a Telegram bot has reportedly been developed in Austria that may help users obtain such bogus certifications.
As an increasing number of countries implement vaccine certificates to track immunization status among their populations, the illicit market for phoney vaccine certificates has reportedly grown tenfold in recent months.
According to media sources, on August 10, there were approximately 1,000 dealers of phoney Covid vaccine certificates on the messaging app Telegram, according to Check Point Research (CPR). However, it has already surpassed 10,000, representing a greater than tenfold rise.
A study by software company Check Point discovered that the black market for bogus COVID vaccination certificates has extended to 29 nations around the world after watching it. The nine large countries – Austria, Brazil, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates – are all new to the list.