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PSA: Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards could be a crime

An FBI announcement made it clear this late winter / early spring that fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are illegal. If you make or buy a fake COVID-19 vaccination registration card, you wrote to an FBI representative, “You put yourself in danger and the people around you, and you’re breaking the law.” In addition, the FBI and HHS-OIG recommend that you DO NOT post photos of your legitimate vaccine card on social media – people are using these photos to fake their own cards and commit fraud.

The FBI has released alert number I-033021-PSA for its OIG PSA space with instructions for those with legitimate vaccination cards and those trying to buy or manufacture fake cards. Three warnings are listed for those who have not received their complete vaccine:

• Do not buy fake vaccine cards
• Do not make your own vaccination cards
• Do not fill in blank vaccination cards with false information

The FBI made it clear that, in addition to putting yourself and others at risk of contracting COVID-19, using a fake vaccination card with the seal of an official government agency is a crime. This crime “may be punishable under Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1017 and other applicable laws”.

The FBI has now warned companies, schools, places of worship and government agencies to continue to follow CDC guidelines, maintain social distance and wear personal protective equipment “because individuals can use fake vaccine cards to present themselves as vaccinated” . In other words: people who use these fake vaccine cards are making it necessary to extend this active pandemic and the safety rules they are trying to avoid.

In early February, the FTC began to warn against over-sharing on social media. Celebrating your second COVID-19 vaccination by posting your official vaccination card on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or other social networks is a quick route to identity theft and fraud. Instead, it is recommended that individuals post commemorative images without personal information attached – easy and secure.

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