The European police authority Europol fears fraud in connection with corona vaccines. After the appearance of the vaccine against an infection with the coronavirus, fraudsters could use this to cash in with dubious offers, says Europol press spokesman Jan Op Gen Oorth. “We assume that organized crime will become active very quickly and then offer fake vaccines online,” said Op Gen Oorth in a live crime police interview. At best, these fake vaccines just didn’t work. In the worst case, they are fatal.
Another possibility is that criminals offer the vaccine and then never deliver it. “That is called classic fraud.” Europol also expects fraud in the area of government support for businesses. “We have the financial crisis from 2006 and 2007 as a comparison, where something similar happened.” At that time, too, organized crime attempted a great deal of fraud to obtain state subsidies.
More child abuse and online fraud
Europol is already seeing changes in crime in Europe due to the corona pandemic and the associated partial shutdown of public life. In the beginning, a small drop in drug sales on the street was observed and, at the same time, an increase in drug trafficking on the Darknet, says the Europol spokesman in The Hague. There is also “an incredible increase in online fraud,” for example with face masks and gloves. At the beginning, one or the other drug against the coronavirus traded in the media was also offered counterfeit.
According to Europol, abuse of children has also increased. There was a striking increase, especially during the first lockdown in spring. “Some of these are cases in which children are observed via the webcam – without their knowing it.” But there can also be direct access. In this case, the criminals would contact children via social media and then exert psychological pressure with the aim of the victims sharing photos or undressing in front of the webcam.