Dark Web’s Monopoly Market Bans Sellers Trying to Capitalize on COVID-19 Outbreak
Monopoly Market, which is one of Dark web marketplaces, has decided to act on frauds trying to fool unsuspecting people by marketing drugs and other kind of therapies for COVID-19 using its platform.
In several darknet platforms, listings are rampant with coronavirus code words, with sellers offering a range of fake items including narcotic cocktails promising to work kill coronavirus to saliva and blood infected with coronavirus.
Eileen Ormsby, a journalist specialized on dark web, tweeted a screenshot uploaded by Monopoly Market’s administrator who tried to intimidate the vendors by warning them with plans to impose permanent suspension if “caught flogging goods as a ‘cure’ to Coronavirus.”
The uploaded warning also said that “We have class here. You do not, under any circumstances use COVID-19 as a marketing tool. No Magical Cures, no silly fucking mask selling, toilet paper selling. None of that bullshit.”
The administrator also cautioned buyers with the following posting:
“You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet — under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-10 as a marketing tool to peddle tangle/already questionable goods.”
Unfortunately, sellers continue to capitalize on the fear and lack of knowledge about coronavirus by offering fake products on other platforms.
This includes COVID-19 curing drugs and antidotes costing hundreds of dollars, heaps of N95 masks and other surgical goods at outrageous premium.
The US President Donald Trump’s latest statements suggesting the use of drugs such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have prompted listing of anti-malarial drugs, in spite of cautionary statements from medical professionals that efficacy of those medicines to cure COVID-19 is yet to be proved.
— Eileen Ormsby (@EileenOrmsby) April 1, 2020
Media outlet ‘The Independent’ has published images of listings in Dark Web offering cases of chloroquine at $200 each. On March 19, Digital Shadows, cyber threat study firm, unveiled a report studying the responses from the dark web community to coronavirus outbreak.
The document ended by pointing out that even though online criminals are attempting to “capitalize on fear and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic,” the magazine also “observed some atypical discussions from users,” — including “discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic,” by “expressing solidarity with countries affected,” and “providing health and safety information.”
On March 18, BleepingComputer, cybersecurity related media outlet, stated that mere two out of seven hackers approached by the magazine had responded that they would not aim at hospitals during coronavirus issue. Notably, IT experts from 65 nations have come together to battle malware aimed at hospitals.