Scammers target people with fake COVID-19 vaccine
Queenslanders are being warned not to get stung by online COVID-19 scammers who are offering the chance to jump the queue and buy "the vaccine" online.
Scammers are targeting the desperate who want instant protection from the killer virus but the vials contain nothing more than saline solution.
Some bogus deals are giving people the option to choose the Pfizer vaccine rather than the AstraZeneca and that option will cost $150.
"The vaccine is being rolled out in phases. Those in the highest priority group are currently receiving a vaccine by invitation The vaccine is provided free of charge. Ignore any calls, texts or social media which ask for money or suggest you can buy the vaccine or jump the queue for cash. You can't," The Office of Fair Trading has warned.
Brisbane technology and intellectual property lawyer Nicole Murdoch warns that the scammers will have information that will convince Queenslanders that they are legitimate
"Where health in involved, you want to believe them, so your internal dialogue will convince you the scam is not a scam. Scammers are professionals and they know what to say to make the sale," she said.
"It isn't just buying a dodgy vaccine that is of concern. Media have reported the UK saw a rise in vaccine scams after commencing its emergency program. Cybercriminals created fake vaccine registration pages to capture personal information," she said.
One such scam reportedly involved a fake text message purporting to be from the UK's National Health Service (NHS).
The message had a click through to a NHS-themed website which asked for personal details the hackers could then sell on the dark web.
Ms Murdoch said Australians need to have some trust in the government health process and not rush the system.
"Let them do their checks on the vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective. Let the rollout proceed in an orderly fashion. The vaccine will be free to everyone. Be patient and wait your turn. Your life could depend on it" she said.
Originally published as Scammers target Queenslanders with fake vaccine