Covid vaccine cyber scam explodes in Argentina

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an explosion of virtual fraud in Argentina. According to the authorities, from 2019 to 2020, they increased by more than 3,000%. They are especially associated with the vaccination campaign.

With our correspondent in Buenos Aires,

IN pandemic Unfortunately, it seems to be a source of inspiration for cybercriminals. First, these are scams associated with an increase in online trading or those related to the cancellation of plane tickets due to the rise of the pandemic. Now scammers are taking advantage of the vaccination campaign. These scams have become ” Current In Argentina, the cybercrime unit of the national prosecutor’s office has warned in recent weeks.

How do scammers work? The hacker calls a man posing as a Ministry of Health official and offers to make an appointment for a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The cybercriminal then warns his victim that she will receive the code via SMS and that she must send it in order to proceed with the registration.

In addition, in fact, the code allows you to activate the victim’s WhatsApp account on another device in the hands of the hacker. The latter can then take control of this instant messaging account, this is called phishing or phishing.

Collect money from the victim’s relatives

By gaining control of this account, they gain access to their victims’ entire address book, but above all, they can usurp their identity. Trapped Argentines say that cybercriminals contacted their friends and family to get money from them under the pretext of an emergency.

This happened to one of the residents of the province of Rio Negro in central Argentina. Thanks to this technique, the hackers managed to collect 100,000 pesos (about 1,000 euros) from his contacts. You can recover your account by contacting WhatsApp technical support, but often the damage has already been done by the time the issue is resolved.

Protect your personal information

To determine their target, namely people awaiting the second dose of the vaccine, hackers take advantage of the methods caused by the pandemic. Since the start of the vaccination campaign, many Argentines have no hesitation in proudly showing off their vaccination records on social media after being vaccinated.

These publicly available photos are a treasure trove of information for intruders. We can find the name, first name, date of birth of a person, the date of injection of the first dose, or the brand of vaccine used … So much data that hackers will use when they contact their victims to gain their trust.

Therefore, the Argentine authorities remind that information regarding vaccines is confidential and recommend not to post such photos on social networks, or at least spend time editing personal information.

► Read also: Coronavirus: With the pandemic, scams and scams thrive

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