Darknet forums and Telegram channels have started selling databases containing the personal information of Russians who purchased fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates and forged PCR test results. Journalists at Kommersant spoke to one vendor who offered to sell them a database with 1,000 lines of information for $120. The file contained people’s passport numbers, insurance policy numbers, telephone numbers, home addresses, and information about when they received their forged documents.
Evgeny Antipov, the programmer who runs the Telegram channel “Eye of God,” one of the Russian Internet’s main data-leak hubs, told Kommersant that the single largest database he’s tracked contains the personal information of more than 500,000 Moscow residents. The price for information about a single person on the list is roughly 35 rubles ($0.50).
Antipov says the data appears to have been collected by the same services that sold these fake medical records. Ashot Oganesyan, another Darknet expert, told journalists that the scammers are likely trying to increase their earnings by selling their own clients’ data. It’s also possible, he says, for these groups to earn additional profits by blackmailing their customers.
Buying falsified vaccination certificates in Russia is a felony offense punishable by up to a year in prison.
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