The FBI is pledging to go after people who make or buy fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards.
President Joe Biden’s administration has been working with major corporations to establish a nationwide vaccine passport, and last month New York rolled out its own vaccine passports, which state residents will need to show in order to get into most sports and entertainment venues.
Now, the FBI is warning people against using fake vaccine passports.
“We’ve all seen friends posting their #COVID19 vaccination cards on social media,” wrote the Minneapolis branch of the FBI on social media. “If you make or buy a fake one to misrepresent your vaccination status, you endanger other people and may also be breaking the law.”
We've all seen friends posting their #COVID19 vaccination cards on social media. If you make or buy a fake one to misrepresent your vaccination status, you endanger other people and may also be breaking the law. Learn more: https://t.co/AAZWyW64fi pic.twitter.com/jVVZbpP0We
— FBI Minneapolis (@FBIMinneapolis) March 31, 2021
The local FBI linked to a press release from the Internet Crime Complaint Center titled “If You Make or Buy a Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, You Endanger Yourself and Those Around You, and You Are Breaking the Law.”
The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the FBI are advising the public to be aware of individuals selling fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and encouraging others to print fake cards at home. Fake vaccination record cards have been advertised on social media websites, as well as e-commerce platforms and blogs.
Vaccination record cards are intended to provide recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine with information about the type of vaccine they received, and when they may be able to receive a second dose of the vaccine. 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. Additionally, the unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal (such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) is a crime, and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws.
Because individuals may use fake vaccine cards to misrepresent themselves as vaccinated, we strongly encourage businesses, schools, places of worship, and government agencies to follow CDC guidance and continue to maintain social distancing and use personal protective equipment. If you did receive the vaccine, we recommend you do not post photos of your vaccine card to social media websites—your personal information could be stolen to commit fraud. For more information about the dangers of sharing your vaccination status on social media.
The FBI offered two links, both warning people against posting the cards on social media.
And the agency provided a way for people to tattle on others. “To report suspicious activity involving fake vaccination record cards, please contact the appropriate government agency in your state or jurisdiction, HHS-OIG (1-800-HHS-TIPS or www.oig.hhs.gov); or the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov).”