FBI Warns of Prison Time If You Present a Fake Vaccination Card

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning Americans about the dangers involved in the illegal sale of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards and other COVID-19 scams.

Vaccination cards are intended to provide recipients of the coronavirus vaccine with information regarding the type of vaccine they received and their dates of inoculation. The creation, purchase, or sale of vaccine cards is illegal and “endangers public safety,” the FBI says.

The unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal on such cards is a crime that may be punishable under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1017, and other federal laws. Penalties may include hefty fines and prison time.

FBI-Chicago is also warning the public that posting photographs of legitimate vaccination cards online may leave individuals vulnerable to identity theft.

Residents are encouraged to protect themselves from COVID-19 scammers in the following ways:

  • Do not post pictures of your vaccination cards online. These cards may contain your name, date of birth, insurance information, or more and may be used to steal your identity or commit fraud.
  • If you have already posted a picture of your vaccination card to social media, remove it immediately.
  • Rely on trusted sources like your doctor, the Center for Disease Control, or your local health department for information related to the coronavirus and vaccinations. Be skeptical of unsolicited offers of miracle cures or vaccination documents.

Anyone with information regarding the fraudulent creation or sale of COVID-19 vaccination cards can file a report by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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