Now that the masking guidelines have changed, there are many questions about whether a COVID vaccine card is needed as evidence of vaccination, raising concerns about fake vaccine cards.
The search for fraudulent cards has increased since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed the masking guidance to allow fully vaccinated individuals to be maskless in most settings. Illinois and Chicago have also coordinated their missions this week accordingly.
According to Google Trends, the number of searches for “fake vaccine cards” surged in Illinois following the announcement of the CDC last week, and surged again after the Illinois masking update.
Police said last week a 21-year-old CVS employee in New York was arrested for stealing eight pre-filled vaccination cards. Even in his car.
“They were filmed within the last few days for sharing with family and friends to go to the venue or use at school,” said Patrick Ryder, a member of the Nassau County Police Department. ..
At the same time, the FBI in Chicago warned Illinois residents about the risks associated with the illegal sale of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine cards and other COVID-19 fraud.
“The vaccination card is intended to provide coronavirus vaccine recipients with important information about the type and date of vaccination,” the warning said. “It is illegal for an individual to make, buy, or sell a vaccine card, endangering public safety.”
This follows previous warnings from the FBI and other organizations that warned that fake vaccine cards, including Illinois, were on sale.
The list of fraudulent cards is displayed on major online platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and eBay. Blank cards are also sold on sites such as Craigslist and OfferUp, and NBC5 has found multiple posts in the Chicago area.
The· The FBI issued a special warning that issued a warning last month The general public creating or purchasing a fake vaccination card.
“If you haven’t received the vaccine, don’t buy a fake vaccine card, create your own vaccine card, or fill in a blank vaccination record card with false information,” the FBI warns. Stated. “If you pretend you are vaccinated when you enter school, public transport, work, gymnasium, or place of worship, you and others are at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. I will. “
FBI also has We recommend that you do not post a photo of your vaccine card Social media states that the personal information on the card can be stolen by fraudsters who try to create fake cards and attempt fraud.
Steve Burnas, president and chief executive officer of Chicago’s Better Business Bureau, says these crimes are some of the worst crimes he’s seen in his 33-year career.
These fraudulent cards can cause security breaches at the airport.
“If you want to fly and everyone is vaccinated and you feel this person isn’t vaccinated. Carrying a fake card isn’t good for America or anyone else.” Bernas said.
Bernas adds that anyone who sees these posts should report using a “scam tracker” on the BBB.
According to the FBI’s Chicago division, using fake government ID cards is a crime, and anyone who buys and uses these cards can be fined heavily.
Chicago’s chief public health officials expect additional guidance on proof of vaccination this summer, especially as major festivals and events such as Lollapalooza will resume full operation with vaccination or negative testing requirements. Said.
“Sure, people have their own cards, which are linked to state-level registries,” said Dr. Alison Alwadi, Director of Public Health, Chicago. “And states and other states have been working on ways to make people claim their own vaccine status and get evidence of electronically available vaccines. It’s an evolving technology. I don’t want to talk because it’s just that. Certainly, there is some form of updated information. “
The Chicago FBI has asked “anyone with information about fraudulent creation or sale of COVID-19 vaccine cards” to call 1-800-CALL-FBI to submit a report.Tips can also be sent anonymously Tips.fbi.gov..