Counterfeit vaccination card For COVID-19  related scams are not new phenomena, but the latest coronavirus pandemic-related scam could spread the virus and prolong the pandemic. This new scam also has many legal ramifications.
 
The 4” X 3” white COVID-19 vaccination record card, which serves as a second dose reminder, is now a valuable and desired document. The card that was not intended to be used as an authentic certificate has now become the golden ticket for returning to work, traveling, and attending events. The online sale of stolen vaccine cards and an online counterfeit vaccination card is burgeoning with scammers profiting. The following laws are being violated:
 
  1. The violation of federal copyright laws. Fraudulent use of an official U.S. government seal, such as that of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is a federal crime. This felony carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
  2. Individuals who forge a vaccination card to travel, return to work, or attend events can be charged criminally for knowingly putting other people at risk of getting COVID-19.
  3. The sale of counterfeit and stolen cards breaks the civil and consumer protection laws that mandate an item be used as advertised.
  4. The forged cards violate state laws regarding impersonation.
  5. Copying or falsifying personal data on the cards violates identity theft laws.
As the online sale of fake vaccine cards increased dramatically, 46 attorneys general composed a joint demand letter to Twitter, Shopify, and eBay, to take immediate action. “The false and deceptive marketing and sales of fake COVID vaccine cards threaten the health of our communities, slows progress in getting our residents protected from the virus, and are a violation
of the laws of many states, ”the attorneys general wrote to the companies’ CEOs.
 
The proof of vaccination has created a zealous demand, and scam artists are taking advantage, which is predictable. When the pandemic started, fakes spread faster than the virus. Scammers preyed upon individuals’ fear and trust. Defraud and harm flourished in the form of inferior products for an inflated price. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans have reported more than 430,000 coronavirus-related schemes since the start of 2020, with nearly $400 million lost. With online counterfeit vaccination cards the trend only continues.
 
The IP attorneys at Ference & Associates remain vigilant in protecting consumers. Their knowledge and experience have served companies around the globe in fighting against scams and fakes. Call them at (412) 741-8400 or email contact@ferencelaw.com to learn more about their anti-counterfeiting practice.
 
* If you believe you have been the victim of COVID-19 -related fraud, please immediately report it to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Ference & Associates is a Pittsburgh, PA based law firm with a global client base. Our attorneys focus on patent, trademark, and copyright law.

 
 

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