Criminals would be taking advantage of the emergence of the coronavirus to run scams.

Following the global emergency caused by COVID-19, the WHO has sent out an alert with a series of recommendations to avoid falling into the clutches of criminals.

In the middle of a crisis, there is always some kind of speculator who wants to take advantage of the collective panic and take advantage of the situation for his own benefit. Thus, with the recent coronavirus crisis, many unscrupulous people have decided to take advantage of the situation by increasing the value of hygiene products such as mouthwashes and antibacterial gels by up to five, even pretending to be members of entities such as the Red Cross and asking for private donations in order to control the virus.

Young people in Mexico City, wearing masks after the first case was confirmed in the neighboring country of the United States.

Many people in their ingenuity and kindness to help the cause are created by this kind of criminal, so WHO has issued a series of recommendations to learn to recognize when it comes to a speculator that wants to take advantage.

One of the most outstanding strategies of this type of criminals is to pose as representatives of the same world health organization (WHO), that is why the same institution has declared:

“If a person or organization contacts you claiming to be the WHO, verify their authenticity before responding.”

In addition, the WHO has issued a statement on its website https://www.who.int/es where it states the following:

WHO will never ask you to register to view security information, will never send unsolicited email attachments, will never redirect you to a link outside the www.who.int website, will never charge for a job, will never ask you to register for a conference or book a hotel, will never conduct a raffles or offer certificates by email.

Let us remember that the WHO is an attached organism of the united nations; The collection of help and other economic resources in many of the cases is carried out by means of diplomatic and bureaucratic, links with the countries members of the organization of united nations.
For that reason, the WHO will never ask for direct donations to individuals to solve emergencies, on this aspect, in particular, the world organization of the health informs:

“We call on you to beware of criminals who pretend to use e-mails, websites, phone calls, text messages and even faxes to conduct scams asking for alleged donations or posing as members of organizations such as the WHO and the Red Cross”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO Director

The organization calls attention to not falling into phishing. which we remember is a practice by which cybercriminals pose as a person or entity recognized, by impersonating logos and other distinctive to steal information from the person through the implementation of malware, data blocking, etc. Data is often kidnapped and then rewarded for letting you access your own information.

The WHO therefore adds the following:
“The WHO is aware of messages that attempt to take advantage of the new coronavirus emergency” that ask for sensitive information or contain a malicious link or attachment.

He also warns many of the Internet users that if they have already opened any email or text message that has led to this type of information or installed any program.
He immediately recommends changing all the passwords on your electronic device.
As well as contacting a software expert so that he can take care of your device from any hacking or data theft that may have occurred.

Likewise this domino effect by which criminals are taking advantage of the emergency occurred in Italy:

In recent weeks it became known that in Italy several alleged representatives of the Red Cross and members of the health or civil protection services would be passing by houses in various cities in northern Italy carrying out what would be a supposed health inspection. While one of the alleged members of the medical mission is allegedly carrying out tests on the inhabitants of the house, the other two would be carrying out the theft of jewellery or cash.

The Red Cross issued a statement informing the Italian population that the entity is not making any door-to-door visits and inviting Italians to be cautious and to alert the authorities to such visits in order to capture these criminals.

The health authorities call attention not to fall into supposed miraculous cures for the virus, since it has been detected that some products that promise to prevent the virus and cure it radically would be offered in web sales portals or even through social networks.

Pier Luigi Lopalco, professor of hygiene and preventive medicine at the University of Pisa, told the AFP news agency: “These products are not effective, they have no scientific basis”, and those who sell them as miracles are clearly “liars, the scientist warns.

Skillful criminals are taking advantage of the situation quickly, this morning we found a user of the online sales platform Ebay, offering half a liter of the antibacterial solution sodium hypochlorite, for more than 550 dollars or exchanged it for a cell phone Iphone, the unusual thing is that he had been able to realize in less than 7 days, that he was carrying his offer 6 sales.

An example of the excessive prices for protection products such as the following example from eBay.

The rise in products is such that many consumer rights organisations such as CODACONS have expressed concern about the constant increase in complaints about this problem.

 The same Italian consumer rights protection body in Italy has stated that

 There has been a 1,700% jump in the price of masks, which are now sold online at 1.80 euros, against 10 cents before the collective “psychosis”. 

It even mentions a batch of five valve masks presented at Amazon as “ideal for the coronavirus”, for 189 euros.

The agency has also said that it has made this situation known to the country’s e-commerce platforms so that they can remove these products from their websites and avoid misinformation.

 As part of the measures to enforce the law CODACONS has raised a complaint in the prosecutor’s office of Rome and financial policy to consider closing these sites that violate the law and consumer rights.