FBI looking into reports of fake COVID-19 vaccine cards
ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - As the number of employers, businesses and travel destinations requiring proof of vaccination grows, so does the amount of fake COVID-19 vaccine cards and test results.
The FBI is warning West Texans that purchasing or creating a counterfeit card could lead to time behind bars.
“We want to stress, don’t break the law based off of the decision that you made and having to try to conform with the mandates that are out there,” said FBI Special Agent Jeanette Harper.
The FBI says it’s receiving more and more reports of fake vaccine cards and negative COVID test results being bought online as new restrictions and mandates are being set in place.
“It’s on various social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram,” Harper said.
Harper says false documents can also be found on e-commerce sites like eBay and Shopify.
There are things you can look for to see if a card is fake. Harper says that if a card is fake, it’s most likely fully printed versus a card that’s handwritten.
“And then also, the dates on the card, just to check to see if the dates coincide of when those vaccines were approved by the CDC usage.”
If you lose your vaccination card, you can go to your local health department or care provider to replace it.
The FBI warns that trying to buy, sell or create counterfeits is a criminal offense.
“If you’re printing out fake vaccination cards, you have the government misuse of the CDC seal or the HHS seal on the vaccination cards. Just one count of that on an individual can face up to five years in federal prison and up to $5000 in a fine,” said Harper.
Forgeries have already made their way to the Midland-Odessa area. The FBI says it has received a report of fake cards being sold in the past week.
Counterfeit cards should be reported to your local police department.
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