San Francisco — Small rectangular pieces of paper began to be available for sale in late January on Etsy, eBay, Facebook, and Twitter. Printed on cardstock, it measures 3 x 4 inches and features crisp black letters. Sellers listed them for $ 20 to $ 60, respectively, with discounts on three or more bundles. Laminated ones will incur additional charges.
All were counterfeit or counterfeit copies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccination card, Given to those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the United States.
“We found that there are hundreds and even thousands of online stores selling cards,” said the founder of FakeSpot, which provides tools to detect fake lists and reviews online. Saoud Khalifah said.
The coronavirus has created opportunists from many. A bottle of hand sanitizer At the beginning of the pandemic or Recipients fooled by stimulus checks.. Today, online scammers are taking advantage of the latest profit-generating initiatives: small white cards that provide proof of shots.
According to Caliph, the number of online stores offering counterfeit or stolen vaccine cards has skyrocketed in recent weeks. Efforts are not hidden, such as a Facebook page named “vax-cards” and a list of eBay with “blank vaccine cards.”
Selling fake vaccination cards could violate federal law prohibiting copying of the CDC logo, according to legal experts. They said that if the card was stolen and dated with a fake number, it could also violate the Personal Information Theft Act.
However, profiters are moving forward as demand for cards from anti-vaccine activists and other groups grows. Airlines Other companies have recently stated that they may need proof of Covid-19 vaccination so that people can travel safely and attend events.
The card also says “Vaccine passport, ”Provides digital proof of vaccination. Some tech companies developing vaccine passports are asking people to upload a copy of their CDC card.Los Angeles recently I started using it CDC card for unique digital proof of vaccination.
Last week, 45 state prosecutors gathered to call Twitter, Shopify, and eBay to stop selling fake and stolen vaccine cards. Authorities are monitoring activity and said they are concerned that unvaccinated people could misuse the card to participate in large-scale events, spread the virus and prolong the pandemic. ..
“You can see a huge market for these fake cards online,” said Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General. His office investigated virus-related scams. “This is a dangerous act that undermines public health.”
The CDC said it was “aware of fraud cases involving counterfeit Covid-19 vaccine cards.” We asked people not to share personal information or images of vaccine cards on social media.
Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Shopify, and Etsy have said that selling fake vaccine cards violates their rules and has removed posts promoting the item.
The CDC released a vaccination card in December, describing it as the “easiest” way to track Covid-19 shots. By January, sales of fake vaccine cards had begun to grow, according to Khalifa. Many have found that cards can be easily counterfeited from the samples available online. The real card was also stolen from the workplace by a pharmacist and put up for sale, he said.
Many people who bought the card opposed the Covid-19 vaccine, Khalifa said. In some Facebook anti-vaccine groups, people are publicly proud of getting their cards.
“My body is my choice,” one commenter wrote in a Facebook post last month. Another person replied, “I can’t wait for mine, lol.”
Other buyers want to use the card to trick pharmacists into vaccination, Khalifa said. Some vaccines are two-shot regimens, so you may accidentally enter the date of your first vaccination on your card. This makes it appear as if a second vaccination is needed immediately. Some pharmacies and state vaccination sites prioritize people for a second shot.
One of the unidentified Etsy sellers said they recently sold dozens of fake vaccine cards for $ 20 each. She justified her actions by saying that she was helping people avoid “despotism.” She added that she had no plans to get vaccinated.
Vaccine proponents say they are suffering from a surge in counterfeit and stolen cards. To make these people accountable, Savannah Sparks, a pharmacist in Biloxi, Mississippi, began posting a video on TikTok last month appointing sellers of counterfeit vaccine cards.
In one video, Sparks explained how to track the name of an Illinois pharmacy technician, pick up some cards for himself and his husband, and post them online. The pharmacy technician didn’t reveal her identity, but she linked the post to a social media account that used her real name. This video has been viewed 1.2 million times.
“I was very angry because the pharmacist was using her access and location this way,” Sparks said. He said the video caught the attention of the Illinois Pharmacist Association and reported the video to the Legislature for further investigation.
Sparks said her work threatened her and attracted slanderers and vaccination opponents who posted her home phone number and address online. But she didn’t stop.
“They should first advocate that people get vaccinated,” she said of the pharmacist. “Instead, they are trying to use their position to spread fear and help people avoid vaccination.”
In addition to violating federal copyright law, Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro said that selling counterfeit or stolen cards would require civil and consumer protection laws to allow goods to be used as advertised. He said it was likely to have violated. He said the card could also violate state law regarding spoofing.
“We want to see them stop soon,” Shapiro said of the scammers. “And we want companies to take serious and swift action.”
Online scammers have a new offer for you: Vaccine Card
Source link Online scammers have a new offer for you: Vaccine Card