As we all wait for our chance at getting a COVID-19 vaccine, new information reveals a startling number of fake vaccine websites.
BrandShield, a global cybersecurity firm protecting some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies from cyberthreats, found a +4200% increase in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine websites from January 2020 through the end of February 2021.
The company says social media sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are no better, as BrandShield scanned over 20,000 potentially fraudulent posts and handles.
“They can either steal your credentials or infiltrate your computer and put in malware, your work computer also, or just sell you a fake vaccine that might kill you,” said Yoav Keren, CEO of BrandShield.
The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.
Red flags you’re on a fake website:
- If you see a website or post selling a vaccine it’s a fake;
- If you click on a link that looks like an online pharmacy website and see a vaccine for sale, it’s a fake;
- If you see the name or logo of one of the pharmaceutical companies selling vaccines on a website, chances are it’s a fake.
COVID-19 vaccines are not being sold online. Any link that claims to take you to a website to purchase one, is fake.
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If you’re checking for a vaccine appointment online, make sure you’re doing it through your department of health or physically type in the name of the pharmacy or health care provider to book it. Never follow a link randomly sent to you.