Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, scammers are trying to exploit the huge need for medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to defraud the public, especially those involved in imports, police warned on Saturday.
They said that the scammers approach organisations and health professionals claiming they have medical supplies to sell. In order to make their case they use the names of companies that resemble existing, legal pharmaceutical companies and steal the logos of official websites.
They then demand a large part of the funds be transferred electronically but never deliver any supplies.
Europol has briefed police of EU member states that 20 individuals and companies in three EU countries have already been defrauded.
Police also warned of other forms of fraud such as the sale of counterfeit and non-approved health products such as medicine, antiseptics and protective masks.
Police urge the public and health professionals to be particularly careful, particularly as regards offers made online or by email.
They advise that any purchases be made from known and trusted sources. Police also advise that buyers contact suppliers by telephone to confirm their identity and that payment be made on receipt of the products and not in advance.