We have identified 698 COVID-19 related listings in 28 DWMs, so far. But what's in a listing? Three representative examples are below. Some more listings are available in the .csv file to download.
i) A listing announced the extension of the Small Business Administration loan in the USA, shown in the Figure above. It provides step-by-step instructions to - illicitly -get the subsidy. The listing also suggested: “I do not recommend taking more than 10,000 of the approved amount, because after that cashing out becomes a little harder.”
ii) A listing fraudulently proposed drug mixes with claimed curative power against COVID-19. The listing said: “Protect yourself from the coronavirus” and proposed a marijuana based drug mix as a healing cure.
iii) We detected the presence of fake COVID-19 vaccines since March 2020. The title of the listing was: “Covid-19 Vaccine. Let's keep it low key for now.” Then, it offered the vaccine at $15,000, a very high price, probably because the vaccine is made for an exclusive club of people.
If you would like to know the widespread impact that COVID-19 had on DWMs, click here.
Want to cite and/or use the information provided in this page? It is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 - please cite our ongoing monitoring effort as follows:
A. Bracci, M. Nadini, M. Aliapoulios, D. McCoy, I. Gray, A. Teytelboym, A. Gallo, A. Baronchelli. The COVID-19 online shadow economy. Preprint arXiv:2008.01585 (2020)
Tue Nov 03 2020