INTERPOL has issued a global alert to law enforcement agencies across its 194 member countries warning of the threat of organised crime groups seeking to exploit the announcement of the successful development a Covid-19 vaccine. The organisation’s Orange Notice warns of potential falsification, theft and illegal advertising and sale of the vaccine. INTERPOL stressed the need for enhanced co-operation and co-ordination between law enforcement and health regulatory bodies as the vaccine is rolled out globally.
This warning comes against the backdrop of a significant increase in Covid-related frauds and the public are advised to take particular care when shopping or searching for medicines or medical equipment online. INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Unit has found that of 3000 online pharmacies suspected by the organisation of selling illicit medicines, approximately 1700 also contained cyber threats including phishing and malware.