The Real Reason People Are Making Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Cards

The CDC introduced COVID-19 vaccine cards in December to help keep track of doses and for recipients to have proof of vaccination, but it didn't take long for scammers to step in and start selling those cards. Some sell them blank, some have them pre-filled, and some are even laminated. Some anti-vaccine adherents are forging the cards to make it look like they got the vaccine, but they really never plan to actually get it. People selling these cards are breaking some laws, including one that protects against copying the CDC's logo and one that protects against identity theft, according to The New York Times

Scammers are selling these cards to make a quick few bucks. It's possible the buyers want to have "proof" of getting immunized against COVID-19 so they can use their fake vaccine cards to show employers, public venues, schools, places of worship, gyms, public transportation, or even to travel to other countries. This is extremely dangerous because they could be spreading COVID-19 everywhere they go, and some people will believe that their fake vaccine cards are real.

What's being done about these fake vaccine cards?

Scammers are making money off this new and illegal activity, and buyers get a fake vaccine card they hope to pass as real. This is incredibly dangerous as some businesses and organizations where people gather are looking at restricting access to only those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. There has also been talk about vaccine passports. You would need to be fully vaccinated to travel, and you'd need your vaccine card to prove it.

The FBI is involved and has issued an alert, warning anyone buying or selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards. The alert states, "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." They've also warned those with real vaccine cards not to post photos of them online as scammers could steal your personal information (via the FBI).

If scammers are using any government seal, such as one from the CDC or the HHS, or are filling in the cards with someone's personal information, they are breaking more than one law. Forging a vaccine card is punishable with up to five years in prison. If you see anyone selling fake vaccine cards, report it to HHS or the Internet Crime Complaint Center. You can file a complaint through either website.