A black market for counterfeit vaccination cards is reaching epidemic proportions online.
Scammers forged the three-by-four-inch cards on retail sites like eBay, Etsy, and Shopify, as well as on social media sites Facebook and TikTok, the New York Times reported this week.
The Post has now found dozens of online DIY guides on how to print counterfeit vaccination cards at home.
Counterfeiting has increased in recent weeks after it was revealed that an official vaccination card could soon become a key requirement for traveling on airplanes and attending events.
Sellers and buyers are violating federal law by forging vaccine documents and fraudulently reproducing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logo shown in the top right corner of each card.
In warning that counterfeiters risk prosecution, the Federal Bureau of Investigation advises, “If you have not received the vaccine, do not buy counterfeit vaccine cards, make your own vaccine cards, or fill out blank vaccination cards with false information. “
The FBI advises people not to put their vaccination cards online to prevent counterfeiters from stealing personal information. PA Images via Getty Images
“We do not recommend posting photos of your vaccination card on social media websites,” the website warns.
According to Saoud Khalifah, the founder of Fakespot, which offers data analytics to detect counterfeit items online, scammers have also sold fraudulent vaccination stamps.
“People write, ‘Do you want the Moderna or do you want the Pfizer postage stamp?’” He told The Post.
“The map determines where you can go and what you can do,” he said.
“Some people may not want the vaccine, but they want to go somewhere. So they buy this fake vaccination card with a fake stamp and scam their way through the system. It’s a shame.”
Meanwhile, 46 attorneys general have called for Twitter, eBay and Shopify to take “immediate” action to monitor their platforms and “immediately” remove posts selling counterfeit cards.
In a statement to The Post, global marketplace Etsy said they were “removing posts promoting the items”.
Fakespot founder Saoud Khalifah claims scammers were selling fraudulent brands of vaccine.
SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images
And eBay told The Post that the company is taking “significant steps to block or quickly remove” items that make false health claims or can be used to “falsely represent that a person has received the vaccine.”
As of December, eBay removed or blocked approximately 50 million entries that violated guidelines regarding COVID-19. These range from expensive toilet paper and disinfectant wipes to items that have made false medical claims.
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