Seniors: Why Not to Buy or Sell Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Cards

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Vaccination cards have become yet another target for scamming. This week an Amazon vendor was caught selling COVID-19 vaccination cards. While a 10-pack for only $12.99 sounds like a deal, it is illegal. Plus, you can get a free vaccine card with your COVID-19 vaccination. The FBI has begun cracking down on forging vaccination cards. Here is what you need to know. 

Fake vaccine cards illegal? 

The FBI has been surveillancing for fake vaccination cards due to the reports of vendors selling fake cards on the black market, pro-Trump forums, Twitter, Shopify, Ebay, and even on Etsy, a popular e-commerce site. 

Fake vaccine cards not only have a negative impact on public health, the FBI said, but they’re against the law. Unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal can be punished with a fine or up to five years in prison.

According to the FBI, 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.

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Catching and charging people behind the selling of fake COVID-19 immunization cards has been difficult for police thus far. A California bar owner was arrested last month, along with a former CVS employee, for allegedly selling fake vaccination cards. 

Bill sponsor Sen. Anna M. Kaplan said in a press release, “We’re already seeing anti-vaxxers spread tips online for how to create fake cards in order to get around vaccination mandates, and we need to put a stop to this effort to defraud the public so that our recovery from the pandemic can keep moving forward.”

The ‘takeaway’

Don’t buy or sell fake vaccination cards on the internet. The government only asks individuals not to break the law when they make the personal choice not to get vaccinated.

“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,” said the FBI earlier this year.

If you see a fake vaccine card being sold online, you can report it at https://www.ic3.gov/.

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