Bhopal, December 24: Interpol recently issued a global alert to the law enforcement agencies alerting them about likely "falsification, theft and illegal advertising of COVID-19 flu vaccines" by criminals. Weeks after the alert, the cyber cell of the Bhopal Police has recieved at least half a dozen complaints from people who received calls from fraudsters promising "early COVID-19 vaccines". COVID-19 Vaccines Target of Theft and Online Fraud by Organised Criminals, Interpol Issues Global Alert.
According to a TOI report, scamsters called people asking them to book an early slot for receiving COVID-19 vaccine, and sought their bank account details on the pretext of registration charges. One of the complaints was lodged by a Bhopal-based businessman who stated he had received a call from a stranger to "register" for the COVID-19 vaccine for just Rs 500. Fake News About COVID-19 Vaccine 'Second Pandemic', Need to Highlight Importance of Vaccination, Says Red Cross Chief.
The caller had claimed that once the vaccine reaches the market "it will cost thousands or even lakhs of rupees as everyone will want one". Even though the businessman refused to share bank details, the caller sent him an OTP, urging him to share it so that a vaccine dose can at least be reserved for him. Fortunately, all those who recieved the call in Bhopal were smart enough to understand the trick and did not disclose sensitive information.
Police have issued an advisory alerting the public about such fraud calls regarding COVID-19 vaccine. Speaking to TOI, ASP Saklecha said that the online fraudsters lure people into downloading a mobile app using a link sent on email or via SMS. The so-called app is actually a screen-sharing software which allows scamsters to dupe people by stealing their banking details from their devices.