Cyber crooks are taking advantage of the pandemic to make a profit. With the emergence of the chloroquine debate, police are warning against online scams.
“One of the characteristics of scammers is to be very reactive to the news”, warns Commissioner François-Xavier Masson. director of the central office responsible for combating cybercrime. Since the beginning of the epidemic, he has seen flourish scams around the coronavirus (false doctors, false kitty or computer attacks).
Now, cyber-investigators expect new scams around the sale of chloroquine, whose stocks are dwindling. “I suppose that with the latest statements on chloroquine, we should see the flowering of websites that will offer it”, fears the Commissioner. “Caution is really required, especially when it comes to drugs or anything related to public health”, warns the police.
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If you are a victim of a coronavirus-related cyber scam, the national police advise you to go to the Pharos online platform. Since the start of the epidemic, it has collected nearly 400 reports.
“We have had several cases of false doctors or false nurses”, list in particular François-Xavier Masson. “They will either monetize their advice to fight against the coronavirus and avoid catching it, or ask you to finance research, for example for the discovery of a vaccine”.
Websites also offer masks or hydroalcoholic gels, but once again, you have to be very wary. These are often fake online pharmacies. “Either you receive nothing, because the site behind has no stock and only collect your bank details, or you receive a mask or fake hydroalcoholic gel, which obviously do not have the necessary characteristics to offer you whatever it would be”.