FBI: Buying or selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards is illegal, endangers community

Coronavirus

LAFAYETTE, LA., (KLFY/WJW) As millions of people across the country continue to be vaccinated against the coronavirus on a daily basis, some are choosing not to receive the vaccine. With the possibility of travel restrictions being put in place for those without the vaccine, some are turning to buying and selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

“There are websites that are being created to sell fake vaccine cards to look like the CDC cards that some people are opting to pay for, instead of actually getting the vaccine,” Chris Babin with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana said.

Officials are once again warning against people posting and sharing their vaccine information on social media.

“We would caution people against that because your personal information is on that card and not share it because things you put on social media isn’t as protected as you might think,” Babin said.

It’s also possible to be scammed when trying to buy a fake vaccination card, according to Babin.

“Your personal identifiable information could end up in the hands of a scammer because they might need that information to fill out your “fake vaccine card” and also you’re going to have to pay for it, so that financial information can be taken by the scammer,” he said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a public service announcement Tuesday reiterating that buying or selling a fake COVID-19 vaccination card not only endangers the community but is also against the law. The PSA reads in part,

“Fake vaccination record cards have been advertised on social media websites, as well as e-commerce platforms and blogs. Vaccination record cards are intended to provide recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine with information about the type of vaccine they received, and when they may be able to receive a second dose of the vaccine. If you did not receive the vaccine, do not buy fake vaccine cards, do not make your own vaccine cards, and do not fill-in blank vaccination record cards with false information. By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, the unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal (such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) is a crime, and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws.”

Our sister station KLFY asked their news team to recreate a fake vaccination card. Within 15 minutes, they were able to recreate a fake vaccination card. They say that since other people had posted their vaccine information online (lot number, product name, and clinic site) data only had to be copied over.

A Florida man was recently fired from his job for selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, according to media outlets.

The FBI encourages businesses, schools, places of worship, and government agencies to continue to follow CDC coronavirus guidance, maintain social distancing, and use personal protective equipment as fake vaccination cards continue to surface.

The FBI recommends that those who did receive the vaccine do not post photos of the vaccine card on social media websites.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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