Darknet Market Bans Snake Oil Corona Cures
The Tor-hosted darknet site Monopoly Market has banned vendors seeking to use the platform to promote fraudulent coronavirus vaccines and cures.
“We have class here,” read a screenshot of what Eilieen Ormsby, a darknet journalist and blogger for AllThingsVice, said was a statement from the site’s managers.
She tweeted the screenshot last week. “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.”
To date, no cure for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has yet been developed, and experts say it may be many months yet before a vaccine is ready for mass production.
In another screenshot posted by Ormsby, Monopoly Market stated that “any vendor caught flogging goods as a “cure” to coronavirus will not only be permanently removed from this market but should be avoided like Spanish flu.”
The managers of the darknet site appeared to express their confidence that vendors would not try to sell fake cures for coronavirus, adding that their statement was intended as a gesture of “fair warning”.
Coronavirus-related scams are a rapidly growing problem for authorities all over the world. In the UK alone, the National Fraud & Cybercrime Reporting Centre has received reports of more than 500 such frauds and more than 2,000 corona-related phishing attempts, according to the Guardian.
Last week, OCCRP reported on some of the innovative ways that scammers are attempting to trick people into giving away either their money or personal information, in many cases across several international boundaries and jurisdictions.