Telegram Fraudsters Ramp Up Forged COVID-19 Vaccine Card Sales
A new type of fraud has been circulating on the dark web, with vendors selling fake vaccination records to people who want the social benefits of gaining access to places where proof of vaccine is required, but don’t want to get the shot. Telegram groups are currently being abused by fraudsters advertising the fake vaccination cards to the unvaccinated and anti-vaxxer communities, according to researchers. The illicit sales occurring through Telegram began to increase earlier in 2021. Several different Telegram groups specialize in different types of fraud, including selling stolen credentials, and guides on how to defraud certain companies.
The latest type of fraudulent document that appears to be in demand is the vaccination cards. Travel has begun to pick back up again, however, many places or events require proof of vaccination. It is illegal to make or buy the fake Covid-19 vaccination records with an official government agency’s seal. The sale and purchase is a crime that may be punishable under Title 18 of US Code section 1017. As the need to show proof of vaccine increases, it is likely that this scam will continue to see growth.