Aug 7, 2021 - Health
Fake vaccine cards emerge in U.S., E.U. as vaccine mandates loom
Proof-of-vaccination requirements in the United States and Europe have spurred a new market for counterfeit certificates, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The big picture: Illegitimate vaccine cards have multiplied on social-media sites, messaging apps and on the dark web in recent weeks, per The Wall Street Journal.
- "As a segment of the population tries to avoid the new measures, the dark net reacts to the real market and thus demand gives birth to offers," Dmitry Galov, a researcher at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, told the WSJ.
Driving the news: In the United States, fake vaccine cards have emerged on Amazon, eBay and Etsy, per the WSJ.
- Individuals have also been arrested for selling fake vaccination cards in person, including in California, where a bar owner was arrested for allegedly charging $2o for counterfeit vaccination cards, per the WSJ.
- The vaccination card issued in the United States, which is a small white card issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is easy to forge, per security experts, according to the WSJ.
In countries in the European Union, where a digital certificate with a dedicated QR code for each person serves as a vaccination card, fake certificates are also on the rise.
- In Italy, for instance, about 30 social media profiles have popped up that purport to sell fake certificates, about 500 of which have been sold in the past few months.
- Most of the fraudulent cards emerge on the platform Telegram, which shuts down channels selling fake certificates when asked to by the Italian government, per the WSJ.
- "At least by shutting down the accounts, we have momentarily stopped the phenomenon," Eugenio Fusco, a Milan prosecutor who has investigated the fraudulent certificates, told the WSJ.