Numerous COVID-19 vaccine verifications are being sold on the dark web at ever-lower prices according to a report by CheckPoint Research.
Researchers reported that prices for EU Digital COVID-19 certificates as well as CDC and NHS COVID-19 vaccination certificates had fallen to as low as $100. Fake PCR COVID-19 tests are also widely available, and the study by Check Point Research discovered groups of more than 450,000 people promoting fake vaccination certificates.
The report attributes most of these fake vaccine verifications to groups in Europe.
A March 2021 report by the company found that the price of fake vaccination passports on the dark web was about $250 and that advertisements for the scams were also visible.
There were many samples of the U.K. NHS certificate and the EU Digital COVID-19 certificate used in several countries such as the U.S., U.K., Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, Pakistan, and Indonesia.
Check Point Research reported an “exponential growth in followers and subscribers to groups and channels advertising and promoting COVID-19 certifications and other methods to bypass the need to actually get the physical vaccine.”
The groups can be reached by email, WhatsApp and Telegram, while they are generally asked to pay by cryptocurrency – usually Bitcoin, Monero, dogecoin, PayPal and others.
Check Point Research called on nations to create a secure, internally managed repository where official COVID-19 test and vaccination data can be stored or QR codes cab be used to verify vaccine certificates.
The increase in demand for counterfeit vaccination passports and cards comes when several companies require staff and customers to provide evidence of the COVID-19 vaccination before returning to offices or businesses.
For more information, read the original story in ZDNet.