Sep. 18, 2021 -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have seized more than 6,000 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards across the country.
Two international mail packages from China with 70 fake cards were stopped in Pittsburgh last week, the news outlet reported. Both packages were intended for the same address, and an investigation is underway.
“Coronavirus and its variants continues to pose a serious health and safety threat to American citizens, and so do unscrupulous vendors who peddle counterfeit COVID vaccination cards,” William Fitting, the Pittsburgh port director, said in a statement.
“Customs and Border Protection will continue to intercept counterfeit goods, such as these fake vaccine cards, that threaten our nation, our people and our economy,” he said.
Customs officers screen international travelers, cargo, and shipments for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, and prohibited agriculture.
Since mid-August, officers have seized thousands of fake COVID-19 cards at airports and shipping ports, including hubs in Anchorage, Alaska; Chicago; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Memphis, Tennessee.
At the Port of Cincinnati, officers have seized shipments with nearly 1,700 fake vaccine cards and more than 2,000 fake Pfizer stickers. The vaccine cards displayed a CDC logo but had substandard printing and misspelled words. The shipments originated in China and were being sent to non-medical people at private residences in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New York, and Texas.
“Creating or buying a fake COVID-19 vaccination card is illegal, not to mention dangerous,” Richard Gillespie, the Cincinnati port director, said in a statement.
The FBI has warned that buying, selling, or using counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards is illegal and breaks federal laws.
“Purchasing counterfeit cards supports criminals whose only concern is their bank account, not American security or the health of our citizens,” Gillespie said. “Counterfeiters will try to replicate anything to benefit themselves, with no thought to the innocent victims that may suffer from their actions.”