Fake COVID vaccine cards are selling online. CT attorney general joins effort to stop them.

Photo of Nicholas Rondinone
A healthcare worker displays a COVID-19 vaccine record card at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images/TNS)

A healthcare worker displays a COVID-19 vaccine record card at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images/TNS)

Nathan Howard/Getty Images / TNS

As millions of doses of vaccines go into arms, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has joined a nationwide effort to stop the sale of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine record cards, a celebrated symbol that confirms a person’s immunity.

In a letter this week to the chief executives of eBay, Shopify and Twitter, Tong and 32 other attorneys general pressed the companies to block sales of fraudulent cards and stop advertisements for these products, calling the fakes a public health threat.

“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, but it’s also an open door for scammers,” Tong said in a statement. “We need big companies like Twitter, eBay, and Shopify to take immediate action to stop the sale of fraudulent vaccination cards. These cards pose a threat to the health and safety of people in Connecticut and unchecked could extend the length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The small, off-white card, typically filled out by the provider, is the easiest record to produce that someone has been vaccinated. But fake versions of the card, carrying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logo, have been increasingly showing up online.

While proof of a vaccine is not yet required most places, this is expected to change as more people get vaccinated and states continue to ease restrictions on businesses.

Tong’s office said the fake cards are being offered blank or filled out with the person’s information. It’s unclear how much these fake cards have been selling for online.

The attorneys general also asked the companies to preserve records of advertisements of fraudulent cards, including who placed the listing.

The FBI similarly has been working to stop the use of fake vaccine cards.

“If you did not receive the vaccine, do not buy fake vaccine cards, do not make your own vaccine cards, and do not fill-in blank vaccination record cards with false information. By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19,” the FBI said in a statement.

The FBI said the illegal use of an official government seal is punishable under federal law.