Interpol warns against organised criminal networks selling ‘fake vaccines’

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Interpol warned that organised criminal networks could be targeting COVID-19 vaccines, and could look to sell fake shots.

Interpol said it had issued a global alert to law enforcement across its 194 member countries, warning them to prepare for organised crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online.

With demand for personal protection and hygiene products growing exponentially, criminals are seeking to make a profit by selling substandard or counterfeit items such as surgical masks, and even outright fake ‘coronavirus medicine’.

Interpol warned “false claims abound of medicines which can protect against, or even cure, the virus. But when purchasing these, you do not know what sort of medicine you are actually receiving or if it is safe to consume. What sounds like a cure could actually be harmful to your health.”

“As governments are preparing to roll out vaccines, criminal organisations are planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains. 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,” said Interpol secretary general Juergen Stock.

Interpol said that whenever one buys medicines from unknown websites or in a marketplace, one should only buy medicines prescribed by your doctor or healthcare professional and when buying online, one makes sure the website requires a prescription and has an authenticity certificate.