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'It's dangerous. It's fraudulent:' Interest in fake vaccine cards on the rise

COVID-19 vaccination card
Posted at 7:28 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 15:49:46-04

As more establishments and government entities require folks to show proof of vaccination, cases of fraudulent vaccination documents are on the rise.

Based on geotags and social media data from, Texans show the highest interest in fake vaccine cards.


Reports of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards have been popping up across the country. Representatives from the Better Business Bureau say it's something they are seeing across the Lone Star State.

"They're coming through different ways all over the place," said Amy Razor, regional director for the Better Business Bureau.

Encrypted websites and blog posts have been the prime location to get access to fake vaccine cards.

"It's mostly social media, so possibly people saying, 'Hey, if you need a vaccination card, we can provide it to you.' They are sold different ways that people can basically click through and find more on that information," Razor said.

Texas is at the top when it comes to folks searching for fraud cards, but why are we seeing this peak in interest?

"There, are more and more institutions, industries, businesses, etc, who are requiring their students, their employees to be vaccinated," said Amy Mersoivsky, department chair of nursing, Texas A&M - Central Texas.

Mersoivsky believes vaccine misinformation may be the cause.

"There's been so much disinformation spread about the vaccines, and that consistently goes on and I think that's why people are hesitant," Mersoivsky said.

While Bell County Judge David Blackburn says he hasn't seen any reports come across his desk, the use of fraudulent vaccination cards is breaking the law.

"Fraudulently reproducing, that is crime," said Blackburn.

Replacing a lost vaccination card is one thing.

"If they've lost the card, damage their card, need a replacement card, then I would urge them to go to their primary care physician, or the location where they receive the vaccination," Blackburn said.

However, getting a fake one is a crime.

"It's dangerous. It's fraudulent," Mersoivsky said. "People are getting into big trouble for it. So, please don't do it."

According to U.S. Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 47, the wrongful use of government seal, like the CDC, is considered a crime. You could be fined or imprisoned for up to five years.

Forty-six attorney generals have signed off on a letter to social media giants to do a better job of weeding out these fake advertisements and false information about COVID-19. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton did not.

"We are always helping to track information and share any information that we receive," Razor said. "You know, we're not an enforcement agency of any kind. But we do gather information. And we do share that with entities like the FTC and FBI and Attorney General's offices. We're always in communication."