The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning that any American making of purchasing a fake COVID vaccination record card could be punishable by fines or imprisonment up to five years, or both.
“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,” the FBI stated last week. “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.”
Authorities say that unauthorized use of federal agencies’ official seals, including those of the Health and Human Services Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is illegal. The crime is punishable under Title 18 of United States Code, Section 1017, as well as other applicable laws. The FBI also warned against posting vaccination cards on social media over concerns of potential fraud.
The FBI is recommending that schools, businesses, places of worship, and government agencies continue to practice social distancing and ask people to wear masks “because individuals may use fake vaccine cards to misrepresent themselves as vaccinated,” reports American Military News.
The statement concluded with a tip line for concerned citizens to report fake vaccination report cards.
The move aligns with President Joe Biden’s efforts to implement a national vaccine passport, which is expected to be enforced not by the federal government, but by the private sector.
Thus far, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has pushed back against the proposal by signing an executive order banning vaccine passports.
“No Florida government entity, or its subdivisions, agents, or assigns, shall be permitted to issue vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status to a third party,” his order stated, adding that “requiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life – such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant, or going to a movie theater – would create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations.”
“It is necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and free flow of commerce in the state,” DeSantis said.