European Anti-Fraud Office warns against Fraudsters Offering COVID-19 Vaccines

The European Anti-Fraud Office (Office européen de lutte antifraude - OLAF) has warned governments from dubious offers to provide them with COVID-19 vaccines. These offers are very often fake, and should be reported.

In a press release dated 15 February 2021, Ville Itälä, Director-General of OLAF, is cited as follows:

“We are hearing reports of fraudsters offering to sell vaccines to governments across the EU. These offers come in many different forms. For example, fraudsters may offer to sell large quantities of vaccines, deliver a sample in order to pocket the first advance payment and then vanish with the money. They may deliver batches of fake vaccines. Or they falsely may purport to represent legitimate business and claim to be in the possession of or have access to vaccines."

He further said that all of these claims are false and those activities organised to defraud national authorities must be stopped as quickly as possible. For that reason, OLAF has added an extra layer to the ongoing inquiry into fake COVID-19 vaccines to prevent illegally importing COVID-19 vaccines into the EU territory. OLAF will now actively share information about these attempted frauds with the trusted partners in the EU, in the Member States and across the world.

Source: OLAF (press release No 7/2021)

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