A growing number of universities and schools are now requiring their students to show vaccination proof for face-to-face classes, prompting some who refuse to get vaccinated to get fake COVID-19 vaccine cards online.
The FBI was prompt to act on the matter as it issued a combined statement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in March to encourage individuals not to avail of or sell forged vaccine documents.
Using the government agency’s seal, like the HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Preventing, without their consent can be counted as a federal crime.
A group consisting of 47 state attorneys has communicated with the leaders of Shopify, Twitter and eBay last April to topple down links and ads leading to forged vaccine cards.
While several keywords on fake cards have been blacklisted by several sites, it continues to thrive on messaging applications, chat groups, as well as the dark web.
Some of the sellers on Counterfeit Center, Jimmy Black Market, and Buy Express Documents, along with other websites of the same kind, make COVID-19 vaccine cards available, with prices hitting €400 Euros or about $473.49.
“It is hiding under our noses. If you want it, you can find it,” founder and CEO of scam-detecting software Fakespot, Saoud Khalifah, said. “If we are seeing signs where things like Lollapalooza and other festivals are getting fake cards to gain entrance, the trend is just going to continue into these universities.”
The U.S. Department of Justice in July declared its first federal criminal fraud legal action against the forged COVID-19 vaccination system.
Arrested was 41-year-old Juli A. Mazi, a naturopathic physician from Napa, California who faced charges of wire fraud and false statements linked to health care concerns, KRON4 reported.
Allegedly, she faked vaccine cards claiming the person got the Moderna vaccine and sold them to customers. She was suspected to have used her name in some of the cards, making it appear that she administered vaccines and putting Moderna “lot numbers”. In some cases, she let other customers fill in the cards.