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Fake vaccination cards have become the new counterfeit industry. They are growing in popularity and consequently, agencies are trying hard to fight against these fakes. It’s illegal to forge, buy, or sell a fake COVID-19 vaccination card with a US government seal on it.
Given the Federal vaccine cards don’t include personal details or a photo, it’s very easy to forge fake ones or manipulate existing ones. The ones you receive online as PDFs are even easier to tamper with.
The only method to spot fake paper vaccination cards is to look for any sign of forgery, tampering, handwriting, etc. If done professionally by black-market vendors then it becomes very difficult to tell apart a fake vaccine ID from a real one.
A vaccination card notifies that the person carrying the card has been vaccinated. Given the global pandemic that’s showing no sign of slowing down – many have made it compulsory to have proper vaccination to get into premises.
A fake vaccination card is one that has been tampered with or more likely, been created illegally. If someone has no vaccination card then they can easily buy a fake one on the black market (or create one themselves) and get past security measures. Establishments should reinforce their social distancing and mask-wearing regulations to mitigate a part of the risk brought upon by the use of fake vaccination cards.
Establishments that are likely to require vaccination cards include:
A fake vaccination card is generally used to get entry into establishments or avail services that require patrons to have valid vaccination proof.
Fake vaccination cards can easily get someone entry as there’s virtually no way to tell apart a professionally forged fake vaccination ID from a real one. These paper IDs are so easy to create with simple tools, which only goes on to make things worse.
There are two main reasons why people are going for fake vaccination cards (either by forgery or by purchase):
⦁ Those who can’t get a vaccination card: This happens to people who wish to get a vaccine (and therefore a vaccination card) but are still in the queue. Consequently, they might resort to fake ones to get by if an essential service is being affected. It might also happen that the vaccination card wasn’t received in the first place.
⦁ Those who don’t wish to get a vaccine: This is the more dangerous lot. People who are hard set on not receiving the vaccine will of course need to resort to fake vaccination cards if they wish to avail a service that requires them to have one.
Bottom line is that it’s safe to argue that the black market of fake vaccination cards is flourishing. Most of the fake cards and certificates are coming from European countries as well as China.
The cost and technology required to make a fake vaccination card comes cheap. Services providing premium fake ID cards are now shifting focus from making fraudulent id cards to making large-scale vaccination cards to stay relevant.
Fake ID making services are slowly but surely shifting their focus to making fake vaccination cards. The usual business is far less profitable than forging fake or making blank COVID-19 vaccination cards. These fake ID websites have found a new haven, so to speak. Apart from fake vaccination cards, they are also making several other forged documents for people not just in the US, but in many European countries as well.
Some of these documents are:
Most of these services are thriving on the dark web, as is usual, for the anonymity it provides. Traders are selling fake vaccination certificates for as high as $150. Anyone with the expertise and platform will never let such a cash cow graze by.
These forgers are using tools such as Telegram, Wickr, WhatsApp, etc. to connect with buyers. It’s very easy to wipe any trace of transaction or chat history on such tools. The perks of some of these services include overnight deliveries, express worldwide deliveries, an extra bonus on regular demands, stealth and discreet deliveries, double vacuum-sealed packages, and so on.
This has become a living and breathing industry and there’s nothing stopping people from forging fake vaccination cards unless the cards themselves become complex.
The demand and supply for fake vaccination cards and certificates of all sorts are quickly surging. The advertisements for these services have grown manifold over the past few weeks. Over the dark web, there has been a 100-200% spike in services providing this product. This is huge. The agencies have to come together and formulate better vaccination cards that are harder to forge. Adding a photograph can be the first step.
Authorities might be thinking that the worst is behind us and the pandemic is waning. However, there’s no telling what will happen given the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 outbreak. It has surprised us in the past by rebounding and it can again. Currently, the whole world is coping with the delta variant of the virus. Vaccine cards are the first line of defense. As such, they need to be enforced properly.