The FBI has launched a probe into the discovery of phony COVID-19 vaccination cards that are being sold by fraudsters online and through social media, threatening the progress America has. been making in combating the virus.
FBI investigators and other federal officials are looking into the fake COVID-19 cards that are supposed to be administered by healthcare providers before one receives a first dose of the vaccine, but have instead been making the rounds online.
Officials said that since there’s no way to authenticate vaccination cards, it's even easier for scammers to create their own, though experts are working on a digital verification or QR code that could be introduced across the country sooner than later.
According to the FBI, if one is busted with a fake COVID-19 card, it could be punishable by law for wrongfully using and producing instruments to created the forged documents.
Recently a coalition of 45 states Attorneys General issued a joint letter to the CEO of Twitter, Shopify, and eBay warning that their platforms have been used to market and sell blank or fraudulently completed COVID-19 vaccine cards, complete with the CDC logo.
“We are deeply concerned about this use of your platforms to spread false and misleading information regarding COVID vaccines,” they wrote.
“The false and deceptive marketing and sales of fake COVID vaccine cards threatens the health of our communities, slows progress in getting our residents protected from the virus, and are a violation of the laws of many states.”
Anyone who has defaced a vaccination card - or any other legal U.S. document, could face fines and up to five years in jail.
“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," a warning from the FBI said.
"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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