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By Bruce Sussman
Tue | Mar 24, 2020 | 12:30 PM PDT

Sadly, this is a true story.

The world is on lockdown to prevent the pandemic's spread.

Researchers are using supercomputers and clinical trials looking for an answer to the coronavirus.

And then someone created it: a website claiming it has acquired a World Health Organization vaccine to COVID-19. 

"You just need to add water, and the drugs and vaccines are ready to be administered."

And according to the website, you can get the vaccine for free, as long as pay just $4.95 for shipping. 

Website claims to sell COVID-19 vaccine

In reality, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus right now. However, the COVID-19 scam website offered one, anyway.

Here is what the website looked like:

coronavirus-testing-site-shutdown

And the website also appears to feature happy customer reviews. In fact, the quotes have nothing to do with the alleged product being sold:

coronavirus-vaccine-site-shutdown

Department of Justice blocks coronavirus scam website

This happened online during March 2020, until the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) forced the website registrar to block the site.

"The Department of Justice will not tolerate criminal exploitation of this national emergency for personal gain," said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the DOJ's Civil Division. "We will use every resource at the government's disposal to act quickly to shut down these most despicable of scammers, whether they are defrauding consumers, committing identity theft, or delivering malware."

This follows the directive of U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to his U.S. Attorneys around the nation:

"In addition to ensuring that the justice system can continue functioning during the current national crisis, it is essential that the Department of Justice remain vigilant in detecting, investigating and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis.

In particular, there have been reports of individuals and businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online and engaging in other forms of fraud, reports of phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and reports of malware being inserted onto mobile apps designed to track the spread of the virus.

The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeing to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated. Every U.S. Attorney's Office is thus hereby directed to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of all criminal conduct related to the current pandemic."

Tags: Online Scams,
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