Fake Vaccination Cards: The Next Focus Of Counterfeit ID Services

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.

What are fake vaccination cards?

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:

  1. Gyms
  2. Offices
  3. Schools
  4. Public & private transportation.
  5. Mass transit
  6. Places of worship or any other crowded places.

Purpose

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.

Alarming Figures

  1. The fake vaccination card industry is booming. Counterfeiters and forgers are cashing in on people’s needs. Here are some alarming facts and figures regarding fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. The demand for buying fake vaccination cards online is increasing which is attracting the notorious counterfeit identification makers to make business out of it.
  2. A vendor recently listed a pack of blank COVID-19 vaccination cards on Amazon. The listing was taken down but quite a few orders were already placed and many ended up receiving packs of 10 blank COVID-19 vaccination cards just waiting to be faked as real ones.
  3. Large number of forums on the dark web have already been doing this for months but thankfully due to little knowledge, the average Tom, Dick, and Harry can’t get their hands on these more expensive and more professional ones from the dark web.
  4. Colleges are infested with fake vaccination cards which is increasing the pressure on authorities.
  5. The US Customs and Border protection patrol seized more than 3,000 fake vaccination cards coming from China in Tennessee. This shipment was sent camouflaged as greeting cards.
  6. Social media has championed the misleading cause of many to never get vaccinated due to personal or religious reasons. These communities are the root of the fake vaccine card cottage industry which is rampant all over social media platforms. It’s easy to search around in social media groups and find yourself a blank or fake COVID-19 vaccination card or certificate up for sale.
  7. Recently, a Florida couple was caught for using fake vaccination cards for their travel to Hawaii. A lot more passengers are using similar fake vaccination cards to travel.
  8. Penalties and awareness for fake vaccination cards have been increasing both by state governments as well as the FBI.
  9. Check Point monitors the dark marketplaces selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards and in a recent report, they noted fake certificates are up for grabs for $100-120, fake vaccination cards demand is surging, and an ever-increasing number of advertisements and groups that sell fake vaccine cards are doing a lot of business.
  10. Thousands of fake vaccination records were seized recently in Memphis.
  11. A doctor in California is currently facing federal charges for selling fake vaccination cards to their patients.

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.

How fake ID Technologies Have Evolved into Making Way for Fake Vaccination Cards

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:

  1. Fake vaccination certificates.
  2. Fake digital European vaccination certificates and proofs.
  3. Fake vaccine passports that are required to travel abroad.
  4. Fake negative COVID-19 test papers.

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.

Conclusion

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.

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