FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Some people are excited to get vaccinated.
“We got our second shot, all done,” said Bob and Erika Clarke as they walked out of Gillette Stadium.
Meanwhile, others are choosing to bypass the shot but still buy the vaccine card.
“Get vaccinated to get back to normal that’s the only way you’re going to do it either that or buy a fake vaccination card,” said Lino Martin of Attleboro.
Believe it or not, there is a market for fake vaccine cards. Whether it’s someone who can’t get vaccinated yet or someone who doesn’t want to get vaccinated, but feels like they may need a card to do other things.
Either way, Mark Ostrowski of Checkpoint Software says he’s seen a 300 percent increase in the last few months in fraudulent related COVID Ads on the dark web.
“They’re paper cards with a simple logo on them with obvious handwriting that associates the who they are and the date of birth,” said Ostrowski. “You know where they got their vaccine from what the lot was, etcetera. So these are things that can be easily forged and this really sort of opens up the question of whether that this is the right direction to go when it comes towards, you know, proving that you’ve been vaccinated.”
The fraudsters advertise everything on the dark web from DIY templates for negative COVID-19 tests to the actual vaccine to the vaccine cards.
“We already see this happening in certain parts of the country as well as the world as we see scenarios where digital signatures are being assigned to the vaccinations cards voice to seeing things like QR codes and other ways of digital signatures tied to the person and the vaccine so that becomes obviously less forgeable,” said Ostrowski. “Of course, that opens up other areas of forgery.”
Some ads ask for $800. One vendor accepted Bitcoin as the payment method, to avoid anyone tracing them.
“We actually tried early in the year to actually procure as part of our research one of these vaccines from a vendor on the dark web and we paid the Bitcoin, we had the conversation, but of course, we never received anything. So it was definitely a scam,” said Ostrowski.
“I’m actually not surprised, we were just talking about that,” said Clarke. “If they’re talking about a vaccine passport imagine a black market coming up for it.”
Ostrowski warns, these folks selling vaccines on the dark web are not interested in your well-being, the interest is obviously getting money and even if they don’t make the sale, they are after your personal information.
He adds people who post their vaccine cards on social media are also helping the hackers even if they black out their name and date of birth. Ostrowski says it’s still sharing the formats of the vaccination cards, which could be used in a forgery and it becomes one more piece of evidence a hacker could use to hijack your accounts especially if they already follow you on social media and know about your favorite foods and animals.
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