Criminals taking advantage of coronavirus anxiety to defraud victims online
during the current health crisis, with criminals capitalizing on the situation to run a range of financial scams.
With surgical masks and other medical supplies in high demand yet difficult to find in retail stores as a result
of the COVID-19 pandemic, fake shops, websites, social media accounts and email addresses claiming to sell these
items have sprung up online.
disappear into the hands of the criminals involved.
have been reported to INTERPOL by authorities in its member countries.
relative of the victim has fallen sick with the virus and request payments for medical treatment;
victims to provide personal credentials or payment details, or to open an attachment containing
addresses in their attempt to trick unsuspecting members of the public, even reaching out proactively via emails
and messages on social media platforms.
only looking to protect their health and that of their loved ones,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.
fact dealing with a legitimate, reputable company, otherwise your money could be lost to unscrupulous criminals,”
concluded the INTERPOL Chief.
and these crimes are crossing international borders.
regarding fraud cases and requests to assist with stopping fraudulent payments. Targeted victims have primarily
been located in Asia, but the criminals have used bank accounts located in other regions such as Europe, to appear
as legitimate accounts linked to the company which is being impersonated.
multiple European countries. With INTERPOL’s assistance, national authorities were able to block some of the
payments, but others were quickly transferred by the criminals to second and even third bank accounts before they
could be traced and blocked.
Europe, leading to the blocking of 18 bank accounts and freezing of more than USD 730,000 in suspected fraudulent
to the signs of a potential scam to protect yourself and your money.
the legitimate one, e.g. ‘abc.org’ instead of ‘abc.com’;
complaints of other customers not receiving the promised items?;
company is located;
for medical checks – legitimate health authorities do not normally contact the general public in this