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COVID-19 Scams: Scammers Targeting Vaccination Certificate

Scammers always look for a chance to take advantage of people, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created endless opportunities for these criminals. The rollout of vaccines across the globe has created yet another opportunity for scammers and criminals. Criminals are now offering fake COVID-19 vaccine certificates as the latest of their scams.

Sales of Fake Vaccine Cards

Fraudsters are setting up online stores and advertising the sale of vaccine certificates through social media platforms. Authorities designed vaccine certificates to help keep track of who has received the vaccine.

A flourishing black market of these vaccine cards has emerged, offering the buyers a chance to obtain the benefits of inoculation without having to take the vaccine.

Russia is one of the countries to have reported a rise in sales of counterfeit coronavirus vaccination certificates. Reportedly, some Russians are purchasing vaccination certificates through Telegram for about $25.

Israel is another country that has faced a similar problem, with its vaccine certificates susceptible to forgery.

Scammers are taking advantage of many people’s mistrust of the vaccine to peddle their counterfeit cards.

Vaccine Certificate ID Theft

Being inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine has made many people excited to have some immunity against the coronavirus. Many people share photos of their vaccination cards, placing themselves at risk of identity theft.

The problem with sharing this news, including your vaccination card, is that it makes it easy for criminals to gather critical information that they can use to scam you. The card contains information such as your name, birthday, and the place where you got the vaccine.

Scammers can easily fill up details of your identity with some of the information they obtain online and use it to commit other forms of identity theft, including financial identity theft.

In addition to giving away your personally identifiable information, posting a vaccine card online provides scammers with the blueprint they need to create fake certificates.

How You Can Share Your Good News and Remain Safe

After a year of limitations thanks to the virus, being vaccinated offers a promise of returning to a sense of normalcy. Therefore, it is understandable that you want to share your good news with your friends and family.

You can still share the fact that you are vaccinated with friends and family by posting a photo of yourself holding a vaccination sticker. The sticker says you received the vaccine, but does not reveal any of your information. Alternatively, you could show off your injection site.

Also, make sure that you have the right privacy settings on your social media platforms so that only a small group of friends and family can see your posts. However, you should still be careful about what you post. These friends could also share the information on your profile with other people outside your inner circle.


Scammers are taking every opportunity to take advantage and profit from the pandemic. The least you can do is to take steps to protect yourself from these criminals’ fraudulent schemes.. Some steps you can take include not sharing your vaccine certificate online, and of course, not purchasing fake vaccination certificates.


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COVID-19 Scams: Fake COVID-19 Certificates for Travel

Negative COVID-19 test results are a requirement for domestic and international travel.  They are essential for nations attempting to reestablish the economy while preventing an increase in new coronavirus infections. However, the need for these tests has led to a thriving black market. This enables travelers to easily purchase a fake COVID-19 negative test certificate.

The Rise of Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Documents

As countries vaccinate their citizens, criminals are catching up and cashing in by developing and selling fake vaccination documents for travelers. The black market now provides an editable template of fake vaccine certificates that travelers can fill in.

These documents are yet to be digitized and centralized, making it harder to verify their authenticity. To make the matter worse, criminals use sophisticated technologies and measures to produce high-quality fraudulent documents.

The growing use of fake COVID-19 documents poses a direct threat to travel. Some of the common repercussions include:

Travel Bans

Countries that re-opened their borders for travel amidst the crisis did so with the hope that the restrictions in place would prevent an increase in COVID-19 cases related to travel. However, as more people continue to use fake travel documents, the restrictions do not serve their purpose as travelers with the virus could still travel.

Countries considering reopening their borders might delay the measures. Others might ban travel to prevent the importation of travel-related infections.

These travel bans could hurt immigrant workers and expats from certain regions. For example, the Taiwanese government expressed its distrust towards COVID-19 results from Indonesian immigrant workers. This happened after more than four-fifths of immigrant workers from Indonesia tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan even after presenting negative COVID-19 certificates.

Health Risk

Some people claim that they use fake COVID-19 documents due to the cost of an independent test. Others claim they had a need for emergency travel.  Yet others are maliciously trying to travel despite their positive diagnosis of coronavirus infection.

By failing to take a test before travel or faking a negative test when one is positive, these individuals risk infecting other travelers. The result is an increase in travel-related COVID-19 infections. Those traveling with fake vaccination certificates put themselves and others at the risk of infection.

Airline workers are also at risk of developing infections while interacting with positive travelers who are gaming the system with fake COVID-19 documents.

Security Threats

Fake COVID-19 certificates pose a security threat to airlines that have set up additional measures to check these certificates’ authenticity. Some of the airlines are using QR code and barcode scanning to verify these documents.

However, these codes could be cloned.  This means that they might appear to lead to a genuine site, but instead lead to a fraudulent website. As a result, the criminals can intercept personal data.

Criminals exploit people’s need for affordable and easy-to-obtain COVID-19 documents.  This gives them funding to carry out other criminal activities, such as hacking sensitive data.