Monopoly Market, the famed dark web marketplace, has recently taken a hard stance against online charlatans on the platform claiming to have treatments or cures for the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Darknet platforms across the internet are chock-full of bogus and dangerous vendors touting to have a solution to fight the pandemic. Everything from cocktails of narcotics and bodily fluids that have been infected with the virus can be found on these sites.
Monopoly Market decides to ban sellers that use the virus as a marketing tool
Eileen Ormsby, a well-known journalist in the dark web space, tweeted information from the operator of Monopoly Market on April 2 that clearly held lifetime bans as the punishment for vendors who were caught attempting to sell items that were a cure for the virus.
The text within the screenshot continued to explain how Monopoly Market wouldn't tolerate any use of the Coronavirus outbreak as a sly marketing tool. No selling of toilet paper or "magical cures" would be allowed.
Monopoly Market users were also warned that they shouldn't trust any seller claiming to have a cure or treatment for COVID-19. They labeled any vendor using this virus as a marketing tool as untrustworthy.
Monopoly Market isn't alone
Although Monopoly is seeking to weed out any listings or vendors that are leveraging the coronavirus outbreak, sellers on other darknet platforms are all competing to make an extra buck on rampant fears.
Other than the fake cures and treatments for the virus, there are also sellers price gouging facemasks.
President Trump's statements regarding the potential for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have sparked some similar listings of these drugs - although experts have warned that there's a current lack of empirical evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of using these drugs for treating COVID-19.
The Independent has published a report that shows online listings for chloroquine boxes being priced at $200 a pop.
Although there are many sellers taking advantage of the fear surrounding the outbreak, one research company published an interesting report finding that some other darknet actors were discouraging the actions and showing solidarity with those countries most affected by the virus.