KGUN 9NewsCoronavirus


Buying, selling and using fake COVID-19 vaccine cards

The FBI warning and punishment if caught
COVID-19 vaccination card
Posted at 1:29 PM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 13:41:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As the Delta variant makes its way across the country, some are trying to skip the vaccine and buy fake vaccine cards to get into businesses, schools, job and other venues.

Brooke Brennan with the Tucson Bureau of the FBI says the number of incidents involving fake cards is growing. People are ordering online and using their smartphones to make the buy.

"We're just warning the public about the dangers of the fraudulent COVID-19 fake cards and other COVID scams. We really want people to notice it and if they see an individual or website selling COVID-19 vaccine cards that they need to report it to us," Brennan said.

Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 3,000 fake vaccine cards in Alaska, the cards came in from China. Aside from that, the National Association of Attorneys General recently sent a letter to the CEO’s of Twitter, Shopify and Ebay asking them to monitor and take down ads for fake cards.

People are also going to the dark web for access.

"We're seeing these reports all across the country, so we really want to get ahead of it and try to make sure people are aware. That card has your name date of birth, what vaccine you got where you got it and sometimes your insurance information," Brennan said.

According to cyber security company Checkpoint on average, the cards can cost buyers between $100 to $120 dollars each. Meanwhile, the FBI says using fake documents can put others at risk of getting COVID-19 from people who claim to be vaccinated. If you’re vaccinated officials say you should not post your card on social media and if you did its best to take it down immediately.

"Overall if you didn't get the vaccine, don't buy a fake vaccine card, don't make fake vaccine cards and don't fill in blank vaccine cards with fake information," Brennan said.

If caught buying, selling or using fake cards you can face $5,000 in fines and up to 5 years in prison for unauthorized use of a government agency seal. You can report the crime to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center online or call it in.