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Beware of online crooks offering Covid vaccine shots on priority

Increasing incidents of online fraudsters emptying out bank accounts of unsuspecting individuals by offering them a “priority registration” for getting Covid-19 vaccine shots as a bait have come to the fore. The Central government has now issued an advisory for all citizens to beware of such cyber crooks.

The Government’s cyber awareness cell’s official handle on Twitter said that cyber criminals have resorted to many tricks with regard to Covid-19-related apprehension. The criminals are telling users that they can “pay and register” to get on the priority list for getting vaccinated for the novel coronavirus, and sending them malicious links via email and messages or defrauding them through phone calls.

The links have payment gateways where users pay a certain amount to get “registered” for the vaccine. The Ministry of Home Affairs-run cyber cell warned that if users are not aware of such things, they might end up getting defrauded.

Due to the vast population in the country, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has worked up a priority list based on which the vaccination would be administered, with the first being healthcare workers and those in the first line of defence against the virus.

With several complaints of calls from unknown numbers asking people to register for the Covid vaccine in several cities such as Delhi, Noida Gurugram, Mumbai and Hyderabad, the cyber cells of the police in these cities have already registered cases. The police have also issued an advisory asking the public to refrain from entertaining such calls. Police have asked people to not share any details pertaining to their bank accounts and Aadhaar card number with such callers..