The black market for fake vaccination certificates and test results is increasing, with over 1000 vendors selling them on Telegram in 29 countries.
Research released in September 2021 by Check Point Research, a U.S.-Israeli cybersecurity firm, said fake COVID-19 immunization certificates and fake test results for 29 countries, including India, are sold on Telegram, a mobile messaging platform. According to the study, a bogus vaccination certificate for India is offered for $75 (₹5,520) each.
CPR analysis stated movement restraints may have resulted in black market demand and availability of fake test results and vaccine certificates from people who do not want to be vaccinated and estimated roughly 1,000 vendors in August 2021. The number of sellers has surged tenfold to over 10,000 in September.
However, there are few suggestions for awareness from CPR. The relevant official institutions within each country should securely control and encrypt the "green passes" and immunization certificates and a QR code that may be scanned for verification purposes.
Every administration should have an internal repository of tests that can be confidentially shared among the appropriate authorized bodies in the country. Countries should collaborate and share information about such data and create a secure repository with encryption keys to enable people to travel using only authentic certifications while detecting faked and fraudulent ones.
Telegram has vowed to take countermeasures against groups providing fake COVID-19 immunization certificates, reports the Week. The messaging platform has responded to the CPR's report by stating that "Telegram has zero tolerance against such groups. We are taking action with extreme sense of urgency against any such case that is highlighted to us with proper proof.''