Fraudsters Offer Blood Plasma as Covid-19 Cure on Dark Net

Cyber racketeers are duping people by offering to sell blood plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients, advertising it as a miracle cure for coronavirus infection, a senior police official said on Saturday.

Plasma therapy is being used on experimental basis to treat serious cases of COVID-19 in India and other countries.

Taking advantage of the hype surrounding it, fraudsters are offering to sell plasma (a component of blood) of recovered patients, which is supposed to contain antibodies for the virus, as a "miracle cure" on Dark Net, said Yashasvi Yadav, Special Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra Cyber.

"Our team is investigating this. We have got screen shots of such claims," he said.

The sites were on Dark Net, the unlisted and secretive networks within Internet, he said.

Besides monitoring such illegitimate activities, cyber police are also monitoring spread of objectionable content and misinformation on social media, he said.

In a first in the country, Maharashtra cyber police are sending notices under section 149 of the Criminal Procedure Code to those circulating objectionable content online, he said.

Section 149 gives police the power to take steps to prevent a possible offence.

So far notices have been sent to 122 online users, and offensive content posted or shared by more than 60 people has been deleted, Yadav said.