Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are now selling out in major online stores like eBay, Shopify, or even Twitter. Why would people do this?
On Thursday, April 8, The New York Times reported a controversial issue tackling the infamous black market of fake vaccination cards all over the United States. Several major e-commerce sites like eBay and Shopify reportedly have sellers offering consumers of fake COVID-19 vaccine cards. In this way, customers won’t need to get vaccines anymore, and even legally travel with the said fake document.
How to get COVID-19 vaccination cards?
COVID-19 vaccination cards are now the essential document to know whether a person was already vaccinated or not. If you don’t have it, local authorities will not allow you to travel on airplanes or even attend events.
This was the reason why a lot of people are now choosing to go illegal and make their own fake COVID-19 vaccine cards. As the NYT reported, fraudsters are now getting their hands of manufacturing fake vaccine cards and sell them to popular online sites like eBay or Shopify. The three-by-four-inch cards are sold in bundles.
“We found hundreds of online stores selling the cards, potentially thousands were sold,” said Saoud Khalifah, the founder of Fakespot, which offers tools to detect fake listings and reviews online. “Some people might not want the vaccine, but they want to go somewhere. So they’ll buy this fake vaccine card with a fake stamp and trick their way through the system. It’s a shame.”
For example, each stores have their own pricing that varies from $20 to $60 each discounted bundle. The pricing depends on whether customers prefer it laminated or not.
As Tech Visibility checked on Saturday, April 10, sellers offering these bundles are no longer accessible. Most stores are now only selling laminated holder for the vaccine cards.
Online stores now remove products
As the report went viral, the mentioned stores like Shopify and eBay are now removing all stores that offering the said illegal fake products. Other sites like TikTok, Facebook Marketplace, and even Twitter are also on the run to immediately take down these kinds of posts.
According to The New York Times, some fraudsters changed their listing names to ‘vax-cards,’ or ‘black vaccine cards’ in order to prevent online stores from pinning them down.
“We’re seeing a huge market for these false cards online,” said Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, whose office has investigated fraud related to the virus. “This is a dangerous practice that undermines public health.”
What FBI wants you to do
First off, it is important to know that fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are not legal, in any way. Therefore, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) advises, “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.”
As you prevent being victims of availing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards, the FBI also told the public to stop posting their COVID-19 vaccine cards in any social media websites. This will stop fraudsters from copying Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine cards and sell them online.