The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly altered global social dynamics through extensive containment measures. Understanding how individuals perceive the virus, distinguishing between realistic and symbolic threats, and considering the influence of personality traits is essential for effective public health messaging and interventions. This study explores the linkage between personality traits and perceived COVID-19 threats, mediated by conspiracy mentality, across diverse international contexts. Online survey data were collected in June 2021 from 13,645 participants across seven European countries, the US, and Colombia. The study explores how individuals with different Dark Triad traits perceive the threat of COVID-19, and whether conspiracy mentality mediates these perceptions. The findings reveal distinct associations. Machiavellianism and narcissism were linked to lower perceived COVID-19 threat, while psychopathy was associated with greater perceived threat. Additionally, individuals with higher conspiracy mentality endorsed greater perceived threat related to COVID-19. This study highlights the influence of Dark Triad personality traits on how individuals perceive the threats posed by COVID-19, with conspiracy mentality mediating this relationship. Understanding these associations provides valuable insights into psychological factors affecting COVID-19 perception, informing future research and public health strategies.