COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (KRDO) – To prevent fraudulent vaccination cards from being circulated online, 45 attorneys general, including Colorado’s Phil Weiser, are calling on social media and technology companies to take action against them.
“During this pandemic, we have seen time and time again that fraudsters take advantage of people at risk,” said Weiser.
In a letter to the CEOs of Twitter, Shopify and eBay, officials urged companies to take steps to prevent counterfeit vaccine cards from being sold on their platforms.
“We have become aware that your platforms are being used to market and sell blank or fraudulently completed COVID vaccination cards with the logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the letter said.
Officials have asked the companies to find and remove ads or links used to sell the fraudulent cards on their platforms and to keep records of “such as content, username and actual user identity related to such ads or links”.
“We want to use the extent of our authority to investigate scammers … If we can track down a scammer who is engaging in any number of programs, and we’ve seen a lot during the pandemic, including handing out their fake vaccine cards, we will work to hold them accountable, “said Weiser.
Under state law, Coloradans who buy or sell these cards can be prosecuted for fraud.
The FBI recently issued similar guidance and cited a federal law against counterfeiting government logos. If a person is charged, they face hefty fines and up to five years in prison.
“Whether or not we have the best secure card system, we obviously do not have ideal security for the vaccines that are now being administered with the cards that people get. But unfortunately, we are where we are.”
Weiser said the biggest problem right now is the potential harm these fake cards could do to community trust and nationwide vaccination efforts.
“That assurance can be undermined if the allegedly vaccinated person really has a fraudulent card and this is something we don’t want to see.”
Visit StopFraudColorado.gov to report a fraudulent vaccination card or other COVID-19 related scam.