Biden mandate causes price spike: Price of fake vaccine cards doubles to $200 after president announces mandatory shots for some employees
- The number of sellers cashing in on the anti-vax market also increased, from about 1,000 to over 10,000
- Biden announced last Thursday that all businesses with 100 or more employees should require vaccines or weekly Covid-19 testing
- He also announced that federal employees and contractors would have to be vaccinated, without the ability to comply with tests
The price of fake vaccination cards has risen 100% since President Biden announced a sweeping new vaccine mandate.
In the days before the president’s announcement that all businesses with more than 100 employees must require vaccinations or weekly tests, the cost of a fraudulent card was about $100. The day after the announcement, the average cost rose to $200.
The number of merchants cashing in on the antivax market also rose, from about 1,000 to more than 10,000, according to information from Israeli security firm Check Point shared with the Everyday beast.
Biden also strengthened a vaccine mandate for federal employees and contractors last Thursday, requiring them to be vaccinated and eliminating the weekly testing alternative.
The number of subscribers in Telegram groups for fake vaccine cards has increased fivefold, according to researchers at Check Point who monitor the darknet and deep web.
Fake cards have been popping up on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Instagram and other marketplaces for months.
In April, a bipartisan coalition of 47 state attorneys general sent a letter to the CEOs of Twitter, Shopify and eBay to remove any ads or links selling the fake cards.
Many of the sites have blacklisted keywords related to fake cards, but places to buy the documents are still popping up in messaging apps, chat forums and the dark web.
In July, the Justice Department announced its first prosecution for fake vaccination records, in which a California naturopathic doctor, Juli Mazi, was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of false statements related to health issues.
Biden signed an executive order last Thursday forcing companies with more than 100 employees to demand vaccinations or weekly Covid-19 testing
A photo of a hand using a magnifying glass to verify the authenticity of the Covid-19 vaccine card, taken on August 15
Thousands of fake vaccination cards containing typos and misspelled words have been seized in Memphis
And on August 17, a Chicago pharmacist, TangTang Zao, was arrested for selling dozens of counterfeit vaccine cards for just $10 each.
“To place such a small price on our nation’s security is not only an insult to those doing their part in the fight to stop COVID-19, but a federal crime with serious consequences,” said Special Commander Emmerson Buie. Jr. from the FBI’s Chicago Field Office.
Zao sold blank but authentic CDC vaccination cards and was charged with 12 thefts of government property. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison per count.
On August 31, a New Jersey woman named Jasmine Clifford, who went by @antivaxmomma on Instagram, was indicted along with 14 others as part of a plan that involved selling more than 250 fake vaccination cards for $200 on Instagram. For an additional $250, co-conspirator Nadayza Barkley, who worked at a New York medical clinic, would enter the buyer’s name into the state’s digital database for New York’s digital vaccine pass.
Three Vermont state agents, who have since resigned, are also under investigation by the FBI for running a fake vaccination card.
Customs and Border Protection say they have seized thousands of fake vaccination cards that have entered the US in recent months.
Last month, the agency discovered a shipment from Shenzen, China to Memphis containing fake vaccine cards full of typos and misspelled words. CBP said it was the 15th of this night, though to all the different cities, and none were even hidden in their shipping container. CBP said Memphis alone had made 121 attacks, totaling 3,017 vaccination cards.