To date, about 35% of the American population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and received their vaccination record cards, according to USA Today. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has cautioned that a number of people are making, selling, or encouraging others to print fake versions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention record cards.
The FBI is warning the public against participating in the scam, and 40 state attorneys general issued a warning last month to social media and shopping platforms about taking action to crack down on these fake cards, according to CNN.
Although the Biden Administration isn’t requiring Americans to carry proof that they received a vaccination, some people who haven’t been vaccinated feel the need to get their hands on a vaccination card because some venues are demanding that patrons have one to attend certain events.
What’s alarming is if someone uses a fake card and gains access to locations where others are vaccinated, they’re not only placing their health at risk, but the health of others around them.
As per CNN, the FBI warned that perpetrators could face major consequences if caught, as a fake vaccination card must include a government seal. If caught, a person could face up to five years in prison and pay a fine for the crime.
Just last week, a bar owner in Northern California was arrested on suspicion of selling fraudulent cards. As reported by NPR, the man is identified as Todd Anderson. He was charged with identity theft, forging government documents, falsifying medical records and having a loaded unregistered handgun.
San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement released last week, “It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic. Distributing, falsifying or purchasing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you.”