- The FBI is warning people about engaging in selling or purchasing fake COVID cards online.
- The agency said that engaging in those types of scams is a crime.
- The announcement comes after a rise in the sale of phony CDC vaccine cards.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
An eBay account sold over 100 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in the last two weeks, according to a review by the Washington Post.
When the Post reached out to the eBay user — an account which was linked to a Chicago-area pharmacist who uses the alias “asianjackson” — about selling the cards, the person told the outlet that they have not used the account in a month and was not aware that they were being sold.
Last month, the FBI has announced that it is against the law to create or purchase fraudulent COVID vaccination cards. The announcement came amid a growing number of scammers selling phony IDs online.
“The unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal (such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) is a crime and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws,” the FBI said in a statement in March.
The agency said faking vaccination puts other people at risk of getting COVID-19 and warned people who are vaccinated to not publish pictures of their cards on social media because “your personal information could be stolen to commit fraud.”
In an effort to stop scammers from taking people’s information online to create fake cards, 46 Attorney Generals signed a letter to the CEO of companies Twitter, Shopify, and eBay, asking them to stop users from selling fraudulent cards online earlier this month, as Insider’s Paige Leskin reported.
“The use of your platforms to disseminate the deceptive marketing and sales of fake vaccine cards is a threat to residents of our states. As a result, we are asking you to take immediate action to prevent your platforms from being used as a vehicle to commit these fraudulent and deceptive acts that harm our communities,” the April 1 letter stated.
A spokesperson for eBay and Shopify previously told Insider that they are taking action against the scammers. A Twitter representative told CBS News that they are deleting posts and accounts of misinformation on the platform.
CEO of Fakespot, Saoud Khalifah, told the Washington Post that although online platforms are working on stopping this issue, it seems to be ramping back up.
“We’ve seen ads on Facebook and TikTok and other social platforms being used to target these anti-vaxxers,” Khalifah told the Washington Post. “There’s demand from people who don’t want to get vaccinated, but also people who think they can use the cards to skip the line [and] say, ‘Hey, I got dose one, can I get dose two?’ “
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