By Patrick Phillips | April 16, 2021 at 6:26 AM EDT – Updated April 18 at 4:14 PM
WASHINGTON (WCSC) – If you either make or purchase a fake COVID-19 vaccination record card, the FBI warns, you could be breaking the law.
The FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of Inspector General say people are 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, the FBI said.
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,” a release from the FBI states. “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.”
But agents say it goes further than that.
The unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal is a crime, and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws, the FBI says.
“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,” the release states.
The FBI also repeated a warning about not posting photos of your vaccine card on social media websites. They say your personal information could be stolen to commit fraud.
To report suspicious activity involving fake vaccination record cards, please contact the appropriate government agency in your state or jurisdiction, call the HHS-OIG at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.
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