TWO people from Malaga and Granada have been arrested for selling fake COVID passports for €350 each.
Looking to make a quick buck out of the pandemic, they aimed their ‘service’ at anti-vaxxers.
The duo from southern Spain advertised the faked certificates through social media sites such as Telegram where they spoke to anti-vaxx groups.
An investigation by computer forensics company QuantiKa14, which infiltrated Telegram channels where pandemic denialists and vaccine opponents chat and organise their protests, uncovered the scheme.
The man and woman sold the false certificates for €350 each or two for €450 in a Christmas offer. They claimed to be anti-vaccine and helping to fight the authorities ‘repressive’ pandemic restrictions.
The investigation reveals a particularly worrying detail: the possibility that anti-vaccine doctors have collaborated with the couple to validate the certificates fraudulently.
“Our certificates are produced by a doctor… we register the certificate in the Health database, so your QR code corresponds perfectly to you,” read one of their posts on Telegram.
The sale of fake COVID passports is starting to proliferate on the networks. “It is the latest trend cybercriminals are relying on,” warned Marcos Gomez, deputy director of services at the National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE). “They are fake services when in reality they are trying to steal your data,” he added, speaking to La Opinion de Malaga.