Covishield scare is scamsters' latest weapon to get your personal information

English | 16 May, 2024 | 10:36 AM
સાંજ સમાચાર

KOLKATA: Concern over the efficacy of Covid vaccines has become the latest tool in the hands of fraudsters to dupe gullible citizens into revealing their personal information, including Aadhaar number and bank details, say cops.

Several Kolkatans have recently received calls from persons claiming to be from the health department, inquiring whether they were administered Covishield or Covaxin, and then proceeding to collect personal details like Aadhaar number.

Some others have received IVRS (interactive voice response system) calls with a recorded voice, also seeking vaccine-related information.

"The recorded voice first asks whether a person has taken a Covid vaccine. If yes, he or she is asked to press a button, usually 1 for Covishield and 2 for Covaxin. Thereafter, the phone freezes and network disappears for a few hours," said an officer from Kolkata Police's cyber cell. While none has lost any money yet, cyber experts believe these are attempts by cyber crooks to take control of a person's phone to collect personal and financial information and access bank accounts.

Cops have repeatedly warned citizens to be alert while receiving calls from unknown numbers and advised against sharing personal information, bank account det-ails and OTPs.

In light of the latest fraud, police point out that doctors and researchers have asked citizens not to be unduly worried about the health impact of Covishield vaccine.

"No drug or vaccine is absolutely safe. Given the positive impact of this vaccine on millions, the associated risk is minimal. The worries and anxiety around thrombosis thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) with Covishield is unwarranted. There is no need to panic," said Santanu K Tripathi, professor and former head of clinical and experimental pharmacology at STM.

According to Tripathi, around 85 crore people got two doses but only 36 cases of Covishield-related TTS were reported, including 18 deaths. "Despite the trend of under-reporting of any drug- or vaccine-associated adverse experience and low treatment-seeking behaviour in India, the incidence of TTS related to Covishield is very low," he said.

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