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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBPOs) have reportedly seized thousands of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards from China at the port of Memphis, Tenn.
Contraband: Suspicious shipments originating from Shenzhen, China, with recipients across the country, were found to contain fake vaccination cards with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) logo on them, the agency revealed in a press release.
- Manifests describe the shipments as “Paper Greeting Cards/Use For-Greeting Card,” or “PAPER PAPER CARD.”
- The cards have blank spaces for the user’s name and birthdate, the vaccine maker, lot number and the date and place the supposed vaccine shot was given.
- Border officers have made “121 seizures totaling 3,017” of such cards in Memphis this fiscal year to date.
- Sellers of fake vaccination cards have emerged online to accommodate those who don’t want to get vaccinated, reported the Associated Press.
Recent shipment: The report made note of a shipment last week containing “51 low quality, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards” intended to be delivered to the central business district of New Orleans.
- Officers found the packages dubious as the shipper is not a medical entity, nor is it connected with the CDC.
- The package also contained misspellings and other typographical errors.
- “Though they may come in packs of 20, 51, 100, there are never any attempts to conceal them in anything,” the report further noted. “They aren’t hidden in books, nor are they stuffed in the back of framed paintings.”
Against the law: Buying, selling, or using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card is a crime and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws, the Federal Bureau of Investigations warned in March.
- “If you did not receive the vaccine, do not buy fake vaccine cards, do not make your own vaccine cards, and do not fill-in blank vaccination record cards with false information,” a recent PSA from the FBI warned. “By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19.”
- Recently, a father and son were arrested for having fake COVID-19 vaccination cards when they went on a trip to Hawaii.
Featured Image via Jernej Furman