FBI warns of COVID vaccine card scams
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Pictures of COVID-19 vaccine record cards are beginning to pop up on social media, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation says doing so could lead to identity theft or fraud.
The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and the FBI are monitoring two scams pertaining to the COVID vaccine cards. One is the potential for personal information to be stolen after posting pictures of the cards on social media.
The second one is in reference to fake cards. Bureau representatives say investigators are beginning to see fake cards being bought and sold online, which they say is a federal crime.
Buying, selling or using fake cards, or filling out blank vaccine cards is all illegal.
Because these are federal documents, FBI representatives say falsifying them could lead to charges of $5,000 fines or five years in prison.
Public Affairs Officer Amanda Videll says this is a new scam investigators are monitoring. Anytime there’s something new, she says criminals use that to their advantage.
“This was a natural place for them to go, they’ve been looking for vulnerabilities in all things related to COVID since the early days of the pandemic,” Videll said. “We’ve been working hard with our law enforcement partners to try to, first of all warn people that these things are happening, and then stop them.”
Bureau representatives added that we don’t know how long restrictions like social distancing or mask wearing will be around.
It’s also yet to be known how private industries, like travel agencies or concert venues, will require proof of vaccination if they cannot prove the majority of people in attendance are vaccinated.
That’s why this kind of misrepresentation of documents could have a widespread, societal impact.
The FBI is asking if anyone sees something suspicious regarding fake COVID vaccine cards, you can report it to Tips.FBI.Gov.
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