The price of fake vaccination cards has risen 100% since President Biden’s announcement of a sweeping new vaccine mandate.
In the days before the president’s announcement that all businesses with over 100 employees must require vaccinations or weekly testing, the cost of a fraudulent card ran about $100. The day after the announcement, the average cost spiked to $200.
The number of sellers cashing in on the anti-vax darknet market also spiked, from around 1,000 to more than 10,000, according to data from security firm Check Point shared with the
Biden last Thursday also strengthened a vaccine mandate for federal workers and contractors, requiring them to be vaccinated and eliminating the weekly testing alternative.
The number of subscribers in Telegram groups for fake vaccine cards increased five-fold, according to researchers at Check Point who monitor the darknet market and deep web.
Counterfeit cards have for months popped up on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Instagram and other marketplaces.
In April, a bipartisan coalition of 47 state attorneys general sent a letter to the CEOs of Twitter, Shopify and eBay to take down ads or darknet market markets links selling the bogus cards.
Many of the sites have blacklisted keywords related to fake cards, but places to buy the documents are still popping up on messaging apps, chat forums and the dark web.
In July, the Department of Justice announced its first prosecution for fake vaccination proof, where a California naturopathic doctor, Juli Mazi, was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of false statements related to health care matters.
Biden last Thursday signed an executive order forcing businesses with over 100 employees to require vaccinations or weekly Covid-19 testing
A photo of a hand using a magnifying glass to check the authenticity of s Covid-19 vaccine card, taken on August 15
Thousands of counterfeit vaccination cards, containing typos and misspelled words, have been seized in Memphis