Officials with US Customs and Border Protections (CBP) seized more than 3,000 fake vaccination cards headed for cities across the US.
According to The Washington Post, the phony documents were printed with the CDC logo and shipped from Shenzhen, China and spotted by border patrol officers at a shipping hub in Memphis, Tennessee.
“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” Michael Neipert, CBP port director in Memphis, said in a statement. “If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision. But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my [officers’] time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself.”
Officers confiscated 121 packages filled with the fake vaccination cards, after noticing misspellings and unfinished words in the shipment forms. Making or purchasing a fake vaccination card breaks federal laws against unauthorized use of a government agency’s seal. A violation carries the potential of a fine and up to five years in prison, according to the FBI.
Aside from the potential for a prison sentence, fake vaccination documents are costly. A fake vaccination card can cost someone between $25 and $200 apiece, The Associated Press found.
News of the seizure comes as businesses, schools, and other public areas are implementing proof of vaccine requirements amid the latest COVID-19 surge. Some large outdoor events, including music festivals, are requiring guests to show proof of their vaccine as the Delta variant drives increased hospitalizations across the country.
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