Using fake COVID vaccine card in NY could land you in jail

Coronavirus

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Buying fake COVID-19 vaccine cards, making your own or filling the blanks with false information is illegal and could land you in jail, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection warned this week.

Officials say as more places require proof of vaccination, scammers are taking advantage of this by selling fake verification tools including fake cards, certificates, and test results.

Officials say the vaccines are safe and opting for a fake vaccination card instead of getting vaccinated is a health and legal risk.

“Making or possessing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are serious crimes. We are taking this issue very seriously due to the tremendous risk presented by these false documents,” said State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen. “Anyone found to be involved with forged vaccine cards will be charged and face the legal consequences.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received several complaints from people reporting cases of possible fraud related to COVID-19 vaccination. They also received complaints of websites offering, for a fee, vaccine waivers and medical exemptions without seeing a doctor. The FTC is investigating these and other cases of possible vaccine fraud.

Officials warn:

  • Presenting fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards or test results can land you in jail. Buying or making fake vaccine cards or filling in blank cards with false information is illegal and could lead to fines or even land you in jail.
  • The only legitimate way to get proof of vaccination or a negative test result is to get vaccinated or to test negative.
  • Protect your personal information from COVID scams. Scammers set up fraudulent websites offering fake vaccine appointments or call people claiming to be COVID surveyors to collect people’s personal information. Never give out personal information over the phone.

New Yorkers can also report vaccine-related fraud by calling 833-VAX-SCAM (833-829-7226) or emailing STOPVAXFRAUD@health.ny.gov.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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