Stolen COVID-19 Vaccines and Fraudulent Certificates Sold on Darknet Markets for Crypto

By Robert Drage July 03, 2021 In Crime, Crypto News, Illegal, Scams

An investigation undertaken by the Coinfirm blockchain analytics team has uncovered illicit trade in Covid-19 vaccines, certificates, and tests on darknet marketplaces.

According to a July 1 report, Coinfirm has identified addresses linked to various vendors selling illicit Covid-19 essentials for crypto assets including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX), Monero (XMR), and Zcash (ZEC).

Privacy coins are commonly used as assets on Darknet Markets (DNM) to pay for illicit goods. This is due to properties that allow users to transact anonymously, as well as darknet platforms that cater for people who wish to stay anonymous.

The ‘Vaccine Shop’ wallet was found to be linked to 145 other payment-accepting addresses that have been flagged for stolen/cloned credit card vendors, drug traders, and perpetrators of scams – specifically Bitcoin “doublers” (fully automated investment platforms operating with no human intervention).


Vaccines Including AstraZeneca For Open Sale

One darknet vendor known as ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Shop’ was openly selling an assortment of vaccines in bulk ranging from AstraZeneca to SputnikV.

Screenshot of the ‘COVID-19 vaccine’ shop. Source: Coinfirm

Another vendor, the similarly named ‘Vaccine Shop’, openly states it is selling stolen vaccines.

Screenshot of ‘Vaccine Shop’. Source: Coinfirm

A vendor on one of the largest darknet marketplaces, Hydra, claims to deliver “certification of the completion of a full course of vaccinations from Covid-19, the dates of the vaccine and the series, the doctor’s signature and the seal of the medical organisation”.

Notwithstanding “the obvious dangers of having rogue agents within the medical profession”, one of the most worrying aspects is that some of these services are linked to people who can input and alter information within national health systems.

A US-based vendor, catering to US residents, claims to be able to input client details into the system.

Coinfirm report

Rigorous KYC Measures Remain Vital

The importance of stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) standards have long been a topic of debate. Exchanges and other entities that handle and swap crypto and don’t have KYC built into them can play host to criminals and malicious interest groups seeking an easy way to cash out their funds.

It is for these reasons that every obliged entity should institute rigorous KYC policies.

Coinfirm report

Robert Drage

Robert Drage

Robert is a freelance researcher, with a background in information science currently interested in blockchain technology and technical developments in the field.

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