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A black market in fake vaccination record cards is reaching epidemic proportions online.
Fraudsters have been hawking knock-offs of the three-by-four-inch cards on retail sites including eBay, Etsy and Shopify, as well as on the social media sites Facebook and TikTok, the New York Times reported this week.
The Post, meanwhile, has found dozens of online DIY guides for printing fake vaccination cards at home.
The counterfeiting has ballooned in recent weeks following news that an official vaccination card could soon become a central requirement to travel on airplanes and attend events.
And sellers and buyer are breaking federal law by falsifying vaccine documents and fraudulently reproducing the Center Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logo, which is featured on every card’s upper right hand corner.
In warning that counterfeiters risk prosecution, the Federal Bureau of Investigation advises, “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.”
“We recommend you do not post photos of your vaccine card to social media websites,” the site warns.
According to Saoud Khalifah, the founder of Fakespot, which offers data analysis to help detect counterfeit items online, scammers have also been selling fraudulent vaccine stamps.
“People post, ‘Do you want the Moderna or do you want the Pfizer stamp?’” he told The Post.
“The card dictates where you can go and what you can do,” he said.
“Some people might not want the vaccine, but they want to go somewhere. So they’ll buy this fake vaccine card with a fake stamp and trick their way through the system. It’s a shame.”
Meanwhile, 46 attorneys general have demanded that Twitter, eBay, and Shopify take “immediate” action to monitor their platforms and “promptly” take down posts selling fake cards.
In a statement to The Post, global marketplace Etsy said they “were removing posts that advertised the items.”
And eBay told The Post the company is “taking significant measures to block or quickly remove items” that make false health claims or can be used to “falsely represent a person has received the vaccine.”
As of December, eBay has removed or blocked approximately 50 million listings that have violated their policies related to COVID-19, ranging from price-gouging toilet paper and disinfectant wipes to items that made false medical claims.