The head of the EU’s law enforcement agency Europol has warned that organized crime will now attempt to use the campaign of vaccination against Covid-19 to carry out a campaign of vaccine fraud. This was announced by Europol head Catherine De Bolle on Sunday, December 27.
“We have already sent a warning to the Member States, calling on them to be very vigilant. There is a real risk that criminal groups are trying to exploit the need for a vaccine for their crimes,” she said.
The fraud may take one of two forms: either vaccines are ordered and paid for and then never delivered, or the vaccines on offer are fake.
In the meantime, offers of vaccines for sale have already started appearing on social media.
If the fraud is simply a failure to deliver, the only ill-effect is financial. The sale of fake vaccines is much more dangerous.
“If you become a victim of such fraud, it can of course have serious health consequences,” De Bolle warned.
During the first lockdown, thieves targetted face masks.
“This is now also a danger with the vaccine,” De Bolle said.
“Europol is trying to identify possible hotspots at which there is a particularly high risk of criminal offenses, and then warn the national authorities. There is also special police cooperation in the EU to protect the transports."
As we reported earlier, European Union nations have kicked off a campaign of mass vaccination of the population against Covid-19.